HOLY WEEK 2014 – TUESDAY
45 And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold, 46 saying to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a den of robbers.” 47 And he was teaching daily in the temple. The chief priests and the scribes and the principal men of the people were seeking to destroy him, 48 but they did not find anything they could do, for all the people were hanging on his words.
The purpose of the Temple was to symbolize the dwelling place of God among his people. It was an intended place of sacrificial atonement, and worship of the one true God, but overtime it had become something different… under the direction of corrupt temple servants and priests it had declined into a place of business and meaningless ritual. They had hijacked the Temple as well as the whole sacrificial system and turned it into something that benefitted them. They streamlined the entire process to make it more convenient for the “worshiper” and more profitable for them. They had completely domesticated and consumed the temple for their own little agenda. So Jesus begins cleansing the Temple by turning over tables and driving out the merchants.
But Jesus was doing more then just cleansing the temple in Jerusalem. He was establishing himself as the better Temple; the true dwelling place of God among His people. Jesus is the ultimate temple, the final meeting-point between God and man, the center of our worship, and the once for all sacrifice that atoned for our sins. Jesus truly is the better Temple!
However; If we’re not careful, perhaps we can make the same mistake with the true and better temple that those of old made with the temporary one. How often are we tempted to domesticate and consume Jesus for our own personal benefit or to justify our own agenda? It’s events like these in His life that won’t allow us to change Jesus into anything other than what he truly is! Jesus is how we know and understand God. He destroys our perceptions and turns over our assumptions, cleansing us and purifying us from the sinful consumerism of our flesh into the true worshipers in spirit that he created us to be!
- How have you domesticated Jesus in your own life, making him less then what He is?
- In what areas of your life are you experiencing the cleansing power of the gospel, and how is that changing your perception of who Jesus is?