What’s happening: It’s now Monday. He is walking back to Jerusalem, this time traveling the few miles on foot. No crowds are waiting, so he makes His way inside the city to the Temple. The sprawling edifice is still under construction, its towering columns and ornate decorations are overwhelming. It is a thrilling sight, except for the merchants who fill the outer court. They are exchanging money so worshipers have the right currency for purchasing sacrificial animals. Animal grunts, clanging coins, merchantmen arguing over prices seems out of place in this house of prayer.
Suddenly Jesus is yelling and knocking over tables. He has picked up some cords and fashioned them into a whip and he is beating the merchants and scattering all the animals. You have read this story in the Bible (Mark 11:12ff) you watch as he continues to scream at the top of his lungs: “Is it not written: “‘My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations’? But you have made it ‘a den of robbers.’”
He seems preoccupied with this holy place, His Father’s House. He wants it kept clean and pure.
You see the Temple authorities near some columns so you walk over and eaves drop on their reaction. They are angry and then one of them brings up the unthinkable “we have to get rid of him.” The others mumble agreement and several ideas are suggested, but then they agree to wait until after Passover.
Things to Ponder: His passion to renew people’s worship overwhelms Jesus. Worship is crucial to Him. The Bible tells us that true worship really takes place in the heart. Now is a good time to take a look at what’s been going on there lately? Do we take the time to pray from our heart or are we content with scripted prayers we’ve memorized? Is our heart filled with lust, anger or jealousy? Have we lost our first love? Is our religion real to us?
Prayer: Lord, please inventory my “temple” today and show me what things I need to get rid of, what things are distracting me from worshiping you with all my heart and mind. Help me today to contemplate your yearning for a heart-felt relationship.