Cleansing the Temple
Day: 3 | Plan: John
Today's Reading: John 2
John 2:16 (NIV) "To those who sold doves he said, 'Get these out of here! Stop turning my Father's house into a market!'"
Have you ever felt a sudden sense of shame or sadness over some activity, relationship or choice in your life? I have. When I have asked the Lord to help me find the source and solution to those feelings, He will often point out things that are crowding out my worship of Him. Instagram, catty chats with friends and my favorite "appointment television" have all been on my list lately. Ugh.
Cleansing can feel sudden and uncomfortable. You see, I've often ignored or justified certain behaviors as being "not that bad" for me. Jesus is thankfully more zealous in His assessment of the situation.
His "zeal" is exactly what's portrayed in today's passage. He cleanses the temple with a passion for holiness, right worship and people having a clear path to the Father.
As a part of Jewish Passover tradition, worshippers would bring an animal sacrifice to the temple. However, many families would travel too far to bring an animal with them. Instead they would purchase their sacrifice once they arrived in Jerusalem. Additionally, many would have to exchange their currency from Roman to Jewish money. Moneychangers were charging handsome conversion fees for this service.
All of these conveniences were corrupting worship and literally clogging the way for worshippers to get to the temple.
When Jesus begins to cleanse things in our lives it is likely because we have conveniences or comforts that we've let corrupt our devotion to Him. Maybe those good things crowd out better things that allow more authentic, heartfelt worship. Perhaps we are selfishly making it difficult for those around us to make their way to Jesus. Do we distract or discourage them?
Jesus is passionate about your holiness and mine. Don't read this passage and see Him as uncontrollably angry. (Jesus was never out of control.) Instead see His consuming passion clearing the way for us to experience right and satisfying worship of the Father.
Prayer: Father God, I often let things get in the way of right worship. Maybe it's my attitude toward someone I worship with. Maybe I have spent too much time on good things at the expense of the best things. Lord help me see what needs cleansing out of my life. In Jesus' name, amen.
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Historically when a new king began his rule, he would clean out the temple from the pagan idols... Read More
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