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A Lenten Journey of Release & Renewal (Day Sixteen)




Day Sixteen



Scripture: John 2:13-22

13 The Passover of the Jews was near, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 In the temple he found people selling cattle, sheep, and doves, and the money-changers seated at their tables. 15 Making a whip of cords, he drove all of them out of the temple, both the sheep and the cattle. He also poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables. 16 He told those who were selling the doves, ‘Take these things out of here! Stop making my Father’s house a market-place!’ 17 His disciples remembered that it was written, ‘Zeal for your house will consume me.’ 18 The Jews then said to him, ‘What sign can you show us for doing this?’ 19 Jesus answered them, ‘Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.’ 20 The Jews then said, ‘This temple has been under construction for forty-six years, and will you raise it up in three days?’ 21 But he was speaking of the temple of his body. 22 After he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this; and they believed the scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken.



Observation:



‘Take these things out of here! Stop making my Father’s house a market-place!’


It was convenient for travelers to Jerusalem that there were merchants selling animals there. For those living outside Jerusalem, it was difficult to travel long distances with animals from home. The religious leaders, responsible for ensuring the animals were fit for sacrifice, often didn’t allow them to sacrifice the animals they brought from home anyway. So, it was a blessing that these merchants were providing this service. All they had to do was bring money to buy a proper animal to sacrifice at the temple in Jerusalem, the only place where animal sacrifice was allowed.


Why did Jesus have to be so violent then? He drove out the animals with a whip, poured out the coins, and overturned the tables. We can’t blame the Jews for questioning Jesus. “What sign can you show us for doing this?” In other words, “Why are you doing this to us when we are only trying to make it convenient for everyone?”


The problem was that convenience consumed the spirit of worship. They paid for what was the law required to be forgiven of their sins. Instead of making painstaking efforts to repent and witness the consequences of sins, they conveniently bought forgiveness from God and called it “worship.” They contaminated the most sacred space by what I would call “first-century consumerism.”


Jesus, take these things out of my heart so that I may become a temple of the Holy One.



Application:

  1. What are the things in your heart that need to be “driven out” for you to be a temple of God?

  2. What does true worship mean for you?



Prayer / Reflection:


Song of Reflection: Heart of Worship










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