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April 16, 2014

Cleaning House

“Immediately on entering the Temple Jesus started throwing out everyone ….”

Mark 11:15 (MSG)

At first glance, this seems like the strangest image of Jesus you might ever picture. It certainly isn’t the way you would think the meek and mild Savior would respond to those attending church at the Temple. While Jesus was always meek, there is no passage that describes Him as mild. He was no milk-toast preacher. In fact, the word meek literally means “strength under control.” It’s the word picture for a Roman soldier’s horse that is trained for battle. That fits a better description of Jesus in my mind.  Getting beyond the mental image this scene creates, you have to ask yourself why? Why would Jesus react in such a radical way when He entered the Temple of all places? Jesus was reacting to the abuse of His Father’s House. He knew God’s Divine purpose for the Temple and taught the people what they seem to have forgotten in the midst of their religious practices. Quoting from two Old Testament prophets, Isaiah and Jeremiah, Jesus said to them, “The Scriptures declare, ‘My Temple will be called a house of prayer for all nations,’ but you have turned it into a den of thieves.” (Mark 11:17 NLT) You might say Jesus cleaned house that day. He wanted to restore God’s purpose for which the Temple was made, to be a place where people could connect with God. According to the New Testament, today, our bodies are now the Temple of God. He has come to make His home in us, to dwell with us. Through us He seeks to make His presence known to others so that the purpose of the Temple remains to be a place where people can connect with Him. As with the Temple then, there are times Jesus may come and radically clean house in us. He wants to remove any distraction in us that would prevent others from connecting with Him. Here’s a highlight from Holy Week. Ask God to reveal any distractions in your life that may hinder His work within His Temple, your body. Be severe in removing whatever it is that He may show you so that through you He may connect with others this Easter. Let them see the risen Christ in His temple today!