Gatekeeping the Love of Jesus - Encouragement for Today - March 25, 2024

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Stacy LoweMarch 25, 2024

Gatekeeping the Love of Jesus

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“The leading priests and the teachers of religious law saw these wonderful miracles and heard even the children in the Temple shouting, ‘Praise God for the Son of David.’ But the leaders were indignant.” Matthew 21:15 (NLT)

Editor’s Note: Today’s devotion is part of a special series for Holy Week! From March 24 (Palm Sunday) to March 31 (Easter Sunday), each devotion will focus on the events leading up to Jesus’ resurrection. We pray these words will prepare your heart and mind for the celebration of our risen Savior.

Just one day prior, Jesus had entered the city of Jerusalem on a donkey’s back and had been received with much acclaim. But not by everyone. The chief priests and Pharisees had no desire to welcome Jesus. They wanted Him dead.


Among other things, Jesus claimed to be “the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6a, NLT). The only path to God. The religious leaders believed this to be blasphemous because the only path to God they knew was through keeping the Law. Jesus’ very existence threatened their authority and all the religious rules they loved to lord over other people.

Then we come to this day of Holy Week.

Jesus arrived at the temple and saw the outer courts filled with merchants selling sacrificial animals at prices only the wealthy could afford. Even worse, because the outer courts were the only spaces where gentiles (non-Jews) were allowed to enter and pray, all such opportunities for them to worship God were gone.

In His righteous anger, Jesus overturned the tables and drove the merchants out, declaring, “My Temple will be called a house of prayer” (Matthew 21:13, NLT).

Then we read:

“The blind and the lame came to him in the Temple, and he healed them. The leading priests and the teachers of religious law saw these wonderful miracles and heard even the children in the Temple shouting, ‘Praise God for the Son of David.’ But the leaders were indignant” (Matthew 21:14-15, NLT).

This moment in the temple was a visible representation of everything Jesus had come to do — tear down every barrier that exists between us and God so that anyone could approach Him.

But even seeing the healing miracles Jesus performed, the leaders still didn’t get it. Rather than bending to the authority of Jesus, they chose to continue in their way. They were gatekeeping the sacred for purposes of their profit and benefit.

It’s here I pause and reflect: Have I been guilty of gatekeeping Jesus? Deciding (whether consciously or not) who is worthy of His love?

While I’ve never been accused of sacrifice price gouging, I wonder how many people I’ve written off as being “too far gone” for God to save them. How often have I looked the other way instead of acting with compassion? How many opportunities have I missed to remind someone they’re loved by the God of the universe?

How many times have my words or actions unintentionally reconstructed the very barriers Jesus came to demolish?

How many times have yours?

How many times have we decided we’re not enough and discounted God’s love for us?

May this day of Holy Week remind us the love of God is for everyone. No gatekeeping required.

Father, thank You that Jesus came to tear down every barrier between You and us. May I never act in ways that prevent others from finding You and experiencing Your love for them. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


Jesus says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28, NIV). Just as the love of God is for everyone, Jesus’ rest is offered to all of us. Quiet your anxious thoughts and embrace true rest before bedtime with our newest devotional book, Clear Mind, Peaceful Heart: 50 Devotions for Sleeping Well in a World Full of Worry. With encouraging devotions, Scripture verses and guided prayers, this resource will help you fall asleep in peace.



For more from Stacy J. Lowe, you can connect with her over on Instagram.


Luke 19:10, “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost” (ESV).

Romans 2:4, “Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?” (NLT).

In Scripture, we’re repeatedly reminded that Jesus came to save the lost. But He doesn’t change us by ruling with an iron fist; His kindness and love bring us to a place of repentance. As you encounter people who are far from God, instead of turning away, choose to act as Jesus would, and allow His love to flow through you. It may be just the moment they never knew they were waiting on.

How can you show God’s love and kindness to those who are far from Him? We’d love for you to share your ideas in the comments.

© 2024 by Stacy J. Lowe. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries
P.O. Box 3189
Matthews, NC 28106

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