Cleansing of the Temple

Welcome to Day 02 of this Holy Week devotional journey.

We are following Jesus during the week leading up to his death and resurrection. 

 

What did Jesus focus on? 

What was He concerned with? 

What does God want us to see? 

And how will we respond?

Ok, let’s get started

 

Pause and Make Space

Before we focus on the scripture, let’s make space to be still and pray

As we enter prayer now, take some time to pause. Slow down. Be still.

Make some space by taking time to breathe deep and pray. 

Take 5 deep breaths in and out. 

Don’t skip this practice.

Take a moment to cast your cares upon God

The Bible says he cares for us (1 Peter 5:7

Do you have any cares, hopes, pain, or lies you need to let go of? 

Are there people and circumstances to give to God? 

Take some time to do just that, by praying, “Jesus I give you…

 

Read the Scriptures

We will be making our way through the Gospel of Luke’s account of Jesus’ week leading up to His death and resurrection

Take a few seconds to pause and ask the Holy Spirit to speak to you through the scriptures:

 

 

Today Let’s Read Luke 19:45-48

“(Jesus) went into the temple and began to throw out those who were selling, and he said, “It is written, my house will be a house of prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves!”

Every day he was teaching in the temple. The chief priests, the scribes, and the leaders of the people were looking for a way to kill him, but they could not find a way to do it, because all the people were captivated by what they heard.”

Let’s also read about this event from Mark’s gospel, Mark 11:15-18

“They came to Jerusalem, and (Jesus) went into the temple and began to throw out those buying and selling. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the chairs of those selling doves, and would not permit anyone to carry goods through the temple. He was teaching them: “Is it not written, My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations? But you have made it a den of thieves!”  The chief priests and the scribes heard it and started looking for a way to kill him. For they were afraid of him, because the whole crowd was astonished by his teaching. 

 

 

Pause and Think

What stood out to you?

What captured your attention? 

Usually, this is what God wants you to think about, consider, and focus on.

Don’t rush. If it is one verse or a phrase within a verse. That is okay.

Take a few seconds and ask the Holy Spirit to give you insight into the scriptures

What verse, verses, or phrases stood out to you. Why?

 

Let’s read Luke 19:45-48 and Mark 11:15-18 for a second time…

“(Jesus) He went into the temple and began to throw out those who were selling, and he said, “It is written, my house will be a house of prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves!”

Every day he was teaching in the temple. The chief priests, the scribes, and the leaders of the people were looking for a way to kill him, but they could not find a way to do it, because all the people were captivated by what they heard.”

Mark 11:15-18

“They came to Jerusalem, and (Jesus) went into the temple and began to throw out those buying and selling. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the chairs of those selling doves, and would not permit anyone to carry goods through the temple. He was teaching them: “Is it not written, My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations? But you have made it a den of thieves!”  The chief priests and the scribes heard it and started looking for a way to kill him. For they were afraid of him, because the whole crowd was astonished by his teaching. 

 

Some Thoughts

What had become of the temple? The place of encounter – where God would meet His people?

It’s true there needed to be money changers and people selling animals for the sacrifices outlined in the Old Testament scriptures. But they didn’t have to be located in the temple complex, not where all nations could come to pray and encounter the living God (Isaiah 56:7).

These verses are often called the cleansing of the temple. 

Unfortunately, the religious leaders allowed the temple to be used for purposes outside its original intent. It needed to be cleansed, but the Messiah-King knew many things beyond the temple needed cleansing as well.

One thing in particular – the human heart.

The prophet Jeremiah wrote that the human heart is deceitful and sick, needing healing (Jer 17:9).

A psalmist once wrote that those with clean hands, pure hearts, and who didn’t trust lies would stand in holy places and be near God (Ps. 24:3-4) and Jesus himself said, “Blessed are the pure in heart, they will see God” (Matt 5:8). 

Peter said that God is building a spiritual house, a new temple called the New Testament church, from people who have received Jesus’ sacrifice (1 Peter 2:5). Paul adds that each follower of Jesus is a temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 6:19).

Jesus cleansing the physical temple was powerful. He intended to partner with holy, pure, and clean people marked by prayer and who welcomed the nations.

Jesus cleansing the temple was a step in proving to us that he is seeking and committed to taking the dirtiest, soiled, and most broken people and transforming them into people pure in heart, expectant in prayer, and welcoming those furthest from God with open arms.

 

 

Pray

Now we want to pray back to God what stood out to each of us in a personal way.

What insight, challenge, opportunity, promise, truth, or step to take with Jesus stood out to you?

Take some time right now to personalize and pray back to God what he has shown you in  today’s scriptures….

 

 

Your ‘I Will’

We want to come away from our time with Jesus in the scriptures with an “I will statement”.

What is God inviting us to do? To practice? To surrender?

Remember, we are not saved by what we do…

But our obedience is vital to be fruitful disciples. 

Take some time to pray and write down your “I will statement”.

Then share it with someone you trust and who will encourage you to do what God has said to do.