Read Mark 11:1-33
Focal Passage Mark 11:15-17
Cleansing the Temple
Jesus got mad, but with good reason. We call it righteous indignation because He was angry on God’s behalf. He was angry at the abuse of the poor and the “outsiders.” He was upset that the temple had become a place to take advantage of others and that spiritual matters, such as prayer, had been neglected. So, He did something about it. He took major steps to get rid of the wrong and make room for the right to return.
Every church ought to examine its motives and practices to see that God is honored, people are cared for and helped, and prayer and worship are given high priority. We ought to get upset with sin and abuse and do something about it. However, the bible also says that our bodies are the temples of God. The building is not the church, the people are.
Shouldn’t we then examine our ‘temples’ and see what abuse and spiritual neglect goes on there? How much emphasis do we put on personal prayer? Are there ways that we as individuals take advantage of others rather than help them? It’s easy to expect the church to act properly, but what about us – Christian individuals? We call ourselves God’s people, so how we operate in the community is even more important than what goes on in the building.
At any given time, it is likely that we could use a little spiritual cleansing ourselves. Let’s ask God to reveal to us what ought to be cleaned out of our lives and what ought to take its place, then follow through.
Prayer: Father, forgive us when we abuse the church, but also forgive us for abusing our bodies, minds, talents and opportunities. Give us wisdom to recognize the abuses and rid our lives of such things. Then help us replace the bad with good habits and spiritual practices.