Mark 11:15-18 NIV "On reaching Jerusalem, Jesus entered the temple courts and began driving out those who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves, and would not allow anyone to carry merchandise through the temple courts. And as he taught them, he said, “Is it not written: ‘My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations’? But you have made it ‘a den of robbers.’ ” The chief priests and the teachers of the law heard this and began looking for a way to kill him, for they feared him, because the whole crowd was amazed at his teaching."
This story from the Gospel stands out to me as one of the least subtle moments of Jesus’ teaching. Upon entering the temple courts, a place intended to be a house of prayer, Jesus instead finds a scene more closely resembling a flea market, and basically loses it in front of everyone involved in disgust. I can just imagine the expression on the faces of all those in the temple courts, including Jesus’ own disciples, as He was turning over tables and generally making a big scene. Awkward alert! The message, however, was pretty clear: that the temple should not be perverted with outside influences that corrupt its sanctity.
So what is the message here for us as we prepare ourselves for Easter? Well, what if we were to take a moment to compare ourselves to the temple? What if, metaphorically, Jesus was to enter our internal courts to determine what outside influences were corrupting us as Christians? If I am being completely honest, I know that there are a few tables that Jesus would overturn in my heart, and I suspect most, if not all of us, do as well. These moments of self reflection are vital to continuing our personal growth, where there is always room for improvement, so that we might advance His kingdom.
Therefore, my prayer is that as a church we would spend time this week leading up to Easter asking God to search our hearts and be tested so that the tables that need to be overturned in our life might be revealed in preparation for the coming of our King! In doing so let us acknowledge that as Christians our hearts are a temple meant to remain free of corruption and demonstrative of the life we were led to live by God’s perfect son, Jesus. Further, through this time of reflection let us honor God for the incredible extension of His grace to all of us, who indeed are imperfect, but aspiring to become GREATER every day.
Psalm 139:23, 24 NIV "Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting."