On Monday Jesus visits the temple where he encounters people selling animals as a service to those who needed to sacrifice during Feast time. This activity had been approved by the Jewish temple leaders as it was a great convenience to Jews travelling great distances; they did not have to have livestock in tow. Jesus also met the money changers who also provided a service to travelling Jews who could get their foreign currency exchange into Hebrew currency. Jesus goes into the temple where he overturned the tables and said, “My house shall be called a house of prayer, but you make it a den of robbers”
Jesus’ complaint was not that dishonest buying and selling was happening in the temple – but that there is buying and selling going on at all! His complaint is that by buying and selling in the temple they have turned His Father’s house into a house of merchandise. It was interfering with worship. Yesterday, many Christians entered their place of worship to honour and give thanks to God. All were present in body but how many were absent in spirit.
Read the story of the temple clearing found in Matthew 21:12-17 and reflect on how you treat your worship. Jesus cleansed the Temple because sinful activities interfered with worship. Do you need to cleanse your heart of attitudes or actions that are coming between you and God?
Consider this prayer: “Father, you alone deserve my worship and praise and not just on Sunday’s but on every day you give me. Remind me when I come before you with my brothers and sisters that we do not gather to talk about ourselves but to talk with you and you with us. Amen”.