7 Minute Read + Scripture readings
Today’s Bible Reading:
Today’s Bible Verse(s):
“He went into the temple and began to throw out those who were selling, and he said, ‘It is written, my house will be a house of prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves!’”
Luke 19:45-46 (CSB)
Reflections on Today’s Bible Verse(s):
In Luke 19:45-46, we observe Jesus in rare form as He visited the 1st century Jerusalem Temple. He is livid. He is controlled in His response but He is creating a scene that is chaotic. He is overthrowing tables. He is forcibly shoving people out of the Temple area. The hand-made whip in His hand is His persuader for anyone who might resist.
Can you imagine how people responded who watched it all happen?
While there are many things that we can learn about Jesus from this scenario, let’s focus our attention on the biblical principle. The Temple was intended to be a place of uninterrupted worship. While there were sacrifices that were offered at that place, and while Scripture would have been read, it was also intended to be a place where the worshipper communed with God. It was to be a place of prayer.
Yet, there was money to be made in the “business” of sacrifices. So money-hungry folks descended on the Temple with their goods. Worshippers would be showing up to offer a sacrifice but it would be far more convenient for them to simply purchase the sacrifice at the Temple rather than carry it (or lead it) throughout the busy streets of Jerusalem. And apparently, there was a “convenience fee” assessed on the sacrificial animals that were purchased so that it was no longer simply a business deal – it was highway robbery.
“You have made it a den of thieves.”
I don’t think Jesus necessarily had a problem with buying and selling in the Temple. What He appears to have been angered at was the fact that sellers were taking advantage of buyers. Prices were exorbitant. So, as the worshipper made the purchase, they took their sacrificial animal to the altar resenting how much they had just paid. Their mind wasn’t prepared for worship. They were furious at how they had been taken advantage of.
So Jesus brought this madness to a halt. He ran those thieves out of the Temple. He would rather have inconvenience abound than to have worshippers in a horrible state of mind.
Because the Temple was a place where God was to be approached and enjoyed. It was to be a place where worshippers spoke with the Lord in prayer and went away better than when they first arrived. Anything that kept enjoyable, meaningful worship from happening needed to go.
Friend, the Jerusalem Temple no longer exists. Do you know that if you are a Jesus-follower, you are now that Temple? Just read 1 Corinthians 6:19-20.
So, what does that say about you? Simply that God wants your body to be a place of prayer. It is to be a place where prayer is going on all of the time (1 Thessalonians 5:17). It’s not so much that our head is continually bowed so much as it is a lifestyle of living each moment with God, in unbroken communication.
Friend, this is an exciting adventure that God has called us into! He has called us to stay in moment-by-moment communication with Him, the infinitely powerful God who created everything and rules over everything. He wants you to talk to Him. Why not do this today?
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Lord Jesus, thank You so much for the privilege of prayer. I confess that I have not been praying nearly as much as I should. Help me to better understand how I can acknowledge Your presence and speak with You throughout the moments of my day. I want my body, my temple, to be a house of prayer. Amen.