In a world where money is the route to most ends, it is hard to imagine money and profit are not the main point. The Bible reminds us that it is hard for a rich person to get into heaven. I don't believe it is because they have money and means. No, it is because their temple isn't clean.
Is your temple clean?
This all comes up because as we are getting closer to Easter I decided to look at the Holy Week. You know, the week of Jesus' death and resurrection. What happened that week, what can I learn. When we think of the Holy Week we think of Palm Sunday, and Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday.
Just like it is hard to imagine money and profit, not being the main point of life. It is hard to imagine much more packed into Holy Week.
But 1 story comes to mind from Matthew 21: 12-17
12 Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. 13 “It is written,” he said to them,“‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’ but you are making it ‘a den of robbers.’” 14 The blind and the lame came to him at the temple, and he healed them. 15 But when the chief priests and the teachers of the law saw the wonderful things he did and the children shouting in the temple courts, “Hosanna to the Son of David,” they were indignant. 16 “Do you hear what these children are saying?” they asked him. “Yes,” replied Jesus, “have you never read, “‘From the lips of children and infants you, Lord, have called forth your praise’?” 17 And he left them and went out of the city to Bethany, where he spent the night.
Oh, what we can learn from Jesus cleaning the temple. I was studying this and was using the
. So in my observation phase, I noticed a few things.
1. Jesus drove out all those who were using the temple courts as a marketplace. Those in it for the profit, are who we immediately think of. But I noticed that he also drove out those who were buying. Why? When you're in business and profit is your goal you will stay until there is no more money to be made. So Jesus had to drive out both to remedy the problem.
Sometimes God allows the innocent to see his wrath because it is the only way to stop the guilty.
2. Jesus told them that God's house, the temple, was a place of prayer. They were making the temple into a marketplace. A place to make money, and sometimes not even giving what they promised. (Making them thieves) The sellers would take advantage of the people. Selling them animals that didn't fit the requirements for a sacrifice. Anything to make that buck. But, God's house is a place to meet God.
Why do you go to church?
This one is hard for me. (I'm not proud to admit this). Sometimes I don't want to go to church. I know, and I'm a leader in the church. It is hard, especially if I am going for someone or something else. But oh those days, whenI am going to meet God and hear lessons from His word. Those days are so much better.
3. Everything boils down to our heart. The sellers were in it for a profit, but God wanted compassion and he wants people who will treat others well. Jesus modeled this. After he cleaned the temple, he spent time healing those who needed him most, the blind and lame. His heart was to help them, not take advantage of them.
How do you treat those around you? Especially those who can do nothing for you? As we head toward Easter, let's stop focusing on ourselves. Let's allow God to clean our temple (our heart). It is by doing this that we can show compassion and forgiveness to those around us. And that will bring Him glory.