In reading this morning the passage of Matthew Chapter 21, I saw where the Pharisees confronted Jesus by asking him by what authority did he have in knocking over the money changer’s tables in the temple. Jesus responded by asking them a question as well, “By what authority did John the Baptist do his works; were they from man or God?” The Pharisees talked between themselves and said to one another, “If we say John did his works by God’s authority, then he will ask us why we didn’t listen to him? If we say that his works were from man, then the people might stone us.” They responded to Jesus by saying that they didn’t know. Jesus in turn said that because they could not answer his question, then he would not answer theirs.
Originally the temple was a place of worshiping God, but over time it became a building to go through the ‘motions’ of worship, and because of this, the people's hearts were not there. They had forgotten about God and his provisions of kindness. They felt that God would be happy with their actions of worship only. The thing we have to ask ourselves is this, “Are we doing the same thing? Do we worship in church by just going through the motions? Are we truly seeking after God with our whole heart, or are we giving only of our presence?”
In Jesus’ day, the Pharisees obviously thought that their place as worship leaders was more as political leaders than being examples for others to follow in leading individuals to God. And because of this, they protected their positions in the temple and sought after their own ends. Jesus was a living conviction against them, reminding them of their false ways and their distance from God. We as well, must in turn ask God for wisdom in our convictions and our place in “his” eyes. If we do not seek after God, the world will in fact seek after us with all its unholy ways. God asks us to be his ambassadors in the world, but we cannot do that if we are not seeking after him first. Just like in our own lives, the world will have its way in our church as well, if it is not putting God first. God made us as individuals to worship him and to be in fellowship with others that have the same convictions. We must now ask ourselves, “Are we being a reflection of God, or the world.” This is but one measure of our faith that will tell us of where we stand.