Purifying the Temple
"…My house shall be called a house of prayer." Mark 11:17
Jesus was full of surprises. With His triumphant entry everyone expected He would ride to the capital and oust all the leaders. Instead, He rode to the temple and cleaned house. This story gives a picture of what happens when Jesus rides into our life as Savior. When Jesus moves into a person’s life, He cleans house.
Jesus Confronts our Sin
When Jesus arrived at the temple the crowd was thick and the noise level was high. With the mixture of sights and smells, the temple courts resembled an open-air market rather than a place of worship. The religious leaders had brought the spirit of the world, in its foulest form, right into the Holy Place. They were guilty of cheating, defrauding and oppression in the name of God. So it is with us. Jesus exposes our self-interest and desire for personal gain, along with every impulse in opposition to His ways.
Jesus Challenges The Structure Of Our Life
The temple had been built of holy materials so a holy people could worship a Holy God. But the structure had been compromised by the agenda of greedy people. Jesus challenged the man-made authority and called them what they were—thieves. What He saw wasn't holy, so He drove it out. The purity and holiness of His very presence is such that evil cannot stay. In the life of a believer there is no change without challenge. It's how Christ’s character is formed within.
Jesus Calls for Surrender
The cleansing is followed by a teaching; the sacrifices of God are a broken spirit and a contrite heart. The house of God is to be a house of prayer where God is worshiped in spirit and truth. We should never set up a market in the sacred places of the heart. When the heart is filled with jealousy, pride and stinginess we are polluting God’s house like those in the temple courts.
Here are some hard questions to ask yourself about your life;
Who are you trying to please?
Where in your life are you playing God?
What insecurities are you holding on to?
What are you hiding from God, yourself and others?