15 On reaching Jerusalem, Jesus entered the temple courts and began driving out those who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves, 16 and would not allow anyone to carry merchandise through the temple courts. 17 And as he taught them, he said, “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’” (Mk 11:15-17, NIV).
Jesus is often wrongly portrayed as a mild-mannered, sort of wimpy character. Clearly in the cleansing of the Temple, we see a Jesus who experiences righteous indignation. But why is Jesus so upset? There are many reasons, but primarily Jesus is angry that the place (The Court of the Gentiles) where non-Jews would come to meet with the God of Israel was now packed with all sorts of unscrupulous merchants making a profit off of God’s people. There was no room for prayer, worship, evangelism, and the teaching of God’s Word. The holiness of God’s House was seriously compromised.
Be Filled With The Holy Spirit
The spiritual application we can take away from this text is that we must also clean out our temples. St. Paul asked us, “Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God?” (1 Cr 6:19, NLT). How can God fill us with His Spirit, if we are filled with sinful behavior? Every day, even moment by moment, we humbly recognize our sinfulness, and with great joy and gratitude we receive God’s grace and forgiveness through Christ.
Let Your Light Shine To The World
We also need to cleanse the temples of our bodies in order that all the darkness that is in us will be turned to light. “[L]et your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven” (Mt 5:16, NIV). When the light of Christ shines through our lives, we will draw people to Jesus. Just as we once walked in darkness and someone shone the light of Christ to us, we too are called to be Christ’s light to the world and lead the lost to the Cross.
Glorify God And Enjoy Him Forever
When we daily meditate on the Lord’s Prayer, “Thy Kingdom come, Thy, will be done, on earth as it is in heaven,” we affirm our desire to follow the will of our Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus brought glory to God by only doing the Father’s will, and we will bring glory to God by living Christ-like lives. The resurrected Christ who lives in us through the Church, is the new temple of the Father, the presence of the One Triune God in the world. So, we are called to be holy, just as God is holy.
What do you need to do to cleanse your temple? Do you have unconfessed sin? Have you not cleared the way for others to see Christ and come to Him? Have you failed to put Jesus first in your life so that the Kingdom of God is not advancing around you? Maybe you need to get serious about cleansing the temple of your heart. I know I do.
© Paul Dordal, 2012