Then they came to Jerusalem. And He entered the temple and began to drive out those who were buying and selling in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who were selling doves; and He would not permit anyone to carry merchandise through the temple. And He began to teach and say to them, “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations’? But you have made it a robbers’ den.” The chief priests and the scribes heard this, and began seeking how to destroy Him; for they were afraid of Him, for the whole crowd was astonished at His teaching. Mark 11:15-18
Today’s thoughts from today’s verses:
We see from today’s passage that Jesus has returned to Jerusalem and entered the temple again. He had just been to the temple the day before which we saw in yesterday’s devotional. Here’s what we said about that first visit: “Jesus’ heart is filled with all that ‘his people could be’ but with his eyes he instantly and fully takes in all that ‘his people are not.’ We will see Jesus’ return to the temple in tomorrow’s Devotional and you can be sure that his ‘looking around at everything’ on his first visit has everything to do with his explosive actions on his second visit.” Today, we see his explosive actions and marvel. Yes, indeed, it is what Jesus saw on the first visit that he powerfully deals with on his second visit.
In regard to the cleansing of the temple, the Gospel of John includes this, “His disciples remembered that it was written, ‘Zeal for your house will consume me.’” Yes, his Father’s house had become a “robbers’ den” and this is what Jesus is dealing with through his zealous actions of cleansing the temple. Jesus reminds those present of the true nature of the temple with these words, “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations?’” To understand this more completely, you have an assignment. Please take the time to read 1 Kings 8:22-61. You will see, not only why the temple was called a house of prayer, but why Jesus is so deeply disturbed by all that the temple no longer is and so passionately against all it has become.
Of course, our passage naturally concludes with the reaction to all this by the religious establishment. Jesus further seals his destiny as the religious leaders become resolute in their intentions to destroy Jesus. His destiny is to become the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. While the cleansing of the temple by Jesus makes the powerful statement we have looked at today, his sacrifice of himself through crucifixion on the cross will make the provision of cleansing the whole world desperately needs.
Today’s prayer response from today’s thoughts:
Lord, thank you for your passion and compassion. I see how painful it was for you to come face to face with the “should have been stuff” that was missing and all the “shouldn’t have been stuff” that was present. Thank you for all the additional pain and suffering you endured to secure eternal salvation for all. As one of your redeemed, I pray you will powerfully continue your work of adding the “should be stuff” that has been missing and removing the “shouldn’t be stuff” that has been present. I bow in surrender to your absolute authority in my life. Amen!