Cleansing our Hearts
March 6, 2023
“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. “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.” Matthew 21:12-13
The temple was a vital part of Jewish worship. Believers went there to offer their sacrifices, and during certain festivals people traveled from far away in order to worship at the temple. It was not uncommon for pilgrims to wait and purchase animals for sacrifice upon their arrival in Jerusalem. Therefore, money changers were regularly seen and animals were often available for purchase. These practices were built on Old Testament laws and inherently were not evil, but over time they became spaces for sin. The money changers and sellers moved further into the temple courts and greed took root. Money changers charged unfair rates and exploited the poor. Places that were intended to be filled with prayer and worship became places of hustling and exploitation.
When Jesus entered the temple courts and saw what was taking place he took action. Matthew tells us Jesus overturned tables and benches and declared “My house will be called a house of prayer,’ but you are making it ‘a den of robbers”. The physical clearing Jesus did made a drastic point about the purity of worship. He cleared the place of the sinful acts in order to reclaim the space for prayer and worship.
Jesus cleared the temple of the physical things degrading worship but his actions point to a greater cleansing. God desires our pure and whole worship. Just as Jesus cleansed the temple, our lives need cleansing. We need to remove the things that prevent us from wholeheartedly worshiping our Lord. So as we go through this season of Lent, reflect on your own life. What needs cleansing in the temple of your heart? How can you reclaim space for God in your life? What priorities need to be realigned?
Prayer: Heavenly Father, just as Jesus cleansed the temple we pray that you would cleanse our hearts. Show us the ways that we have filled our hearts and lives with the wrong things and convict us of the things that prevent us from wholeheartedly worshiping you. As we continue to journey through Lent may we find ways to reclaim space for you in our lives. We pray this in Jesus’ name, Amen.
Blessings in your week,
Spiritual Care Coordinator
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