Cleansing the Temple
Thoughts on the Passage
This is a special feast of the Jewish people. They celebrate their deliverance from Egypt and God’s divine protection over the nation. It is one of three feasts that God required all people to gather together and celebrate. So Jesus, His family and His followers all travel to Jerusalem and celebrate.
There is a problem. The celebration has become a business venture. The priests are using it to make big money off of the people. They change money (there was official temple money that people had to use) – and they set the exchange rate. They make the people purchase animals that will be acceptable for offerings – the priests owned the animals and set the price for the animals.
Jesus came here every year – it must have angered Him greatly to see this business racket set up in the temple where worship was supposed to happen. However, He waited. God did not allow Him to do anything about it. Jesus waited until God gave Him the authority and voice to speak out against it (He is now anointed by the Spirit and has come as the Messiah).
There is a time and season for everything that God wants done. Do not rush it. God gave many other people the voice to speak out against this nonsense – but they did not do anything about it. When God gave Jesus responsibility to do it – He attacked the problem with great passion and intensity. That is worth remembering. It does not mean we do nothing – it means that we trust God to put people in place to address these problems (and do not be afraid to ask leaders what they are doing about them).
Tomorrow, we will look at how Jesus responds to people when they challenge His authority to clean up this mess.
First, is there something that God has given to me to clean up? Get at it and get it done. Do it in the right attitude and with the right motives. Do it as God wants it done. [NOTE part of being given the responsibility is knowing how God wants it to be done according to His Word].
Second, if we are not given that responsibility, then pray for those who are given it. It is a challenging place to be. It is not easy to fix big problems.
Time to Pray
Father, it is easy to complain about things that are being done poorly or wrongly. It is harder to have Your heart for situations. Your heart can be to pray for the leaders to have wisdom and courage. At times Your heart is to have great patience. At times Your heart is to clean things up. It takes both great wisdom and great understanding – that means we need Your Spirit, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding. So today, as we all face things that grieve our hearts, fill us with Your Spirit and teach us how to walk and work with Your heart. In Jesus’ name, Amen.