the perfect day to clean up your temple.
“In the temple courts He found men selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money.” John 2:14 NIV
Jesus was justifiably upset upon entering a place built to worship God and discovering that it had been turned into a marketplace where people gathered to make a profit. The temple was intended to be a place where people could go to feel closer to God and worship Him but it had become difficult for those who wished to use it for its intended purposes to do so.
Humans being human, that was not the only time that Jesus discovered it being used for something other than prayer. He certainly was angrier another time as He knocked over tables, “and said unto them, ‘It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.’” (Matthew 21:13 KJV).
There are those who use church as a place to “see and be seen.” For some it is more of a place to make a business contact than it is to make contact with God. The lesson Jesus was trying to teach was that the temple should be kept clear of sin, corruption, and greed and only be used for the spiritual benefit that is derived from fellowship, prayer, and worship.
Our bodies are also temples in the eyes of God, “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?” (1 Corinthians 6:19 NASB).
So the lesson we learn from Jesus clearing the temple is one we need to apply to ourselves as well as our church. We all need to ask ourselves, “Is my body a worthy dwelling place for the Holy Spirit?” Are the things we use our bodies for in keeping with what God intended? Do we treat our bodies with respect? Are we clean and groomed, yet not obsessed with our physical appearance? And what about the inside of our temple? Is it a place where we can feel closer to God? Is it a place that is kept clear of sin, corruption and greed? Do we ‘sweep’ it out regularly with prayer and confession? Do we “scrub the walls” of our hearts and our minds with the Word of God?
We are human after all, and as such we are constantly and relentlessly exposed to temptation and opportunities to set up a “flea market of sin” within our very own hearts, minds and bodies. We must all look to clean up and clear out our own temples and continually inspect them to ensure that they remain worthy of the presence of the Holy Spirit sent by God.
Taken from “TODAY IS….A Gift From God”, (C) 2013 Tony Casson