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.’ ”
Mark 11:15-17 NIV
This was the time of the feast of the Passover, which commemorated the angel of death passing over all the houses in Egypt which had blood on the door posts. Moses, under instruction from God, had commanded the Israelites to slaughter a lamb and put the blood on the door posts. Every house with blood on the door posts would be safe from the angel of death. The Jews commemorated the Passover in Jerusalem every year and Jesus had just arrived for the Passover.
Jews from all over had arrived in Jerusalem and so local Jews were selling animals and changing money for them, in the temple court of the Gentiles. However, they weren’t so much interested in meeting the needs for the sacrifices as much as using the feast to make a profit. Besides that they were doing it in the court of the Gentiles, making it impossible for the Gentiles to worship at the Temple. This angered Jesus and so he drove them out of the temple. He then taught that the temple was to have been a house of prayer for all nations. Their actions were contravening the will and purposes of God. Instead of being a blessing to all the nations of the earth, as promised to Abraham, they were being a hindrance.
“I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” Genesis 12:3 NIV
We are told that our bodies are the temples of the Holy Spirit.
Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 NIV
Thoughts for consideration:
- Are we doing anything with our lives, the temples of the Holy Spirit, that is contrary to the will and purposes of God?
- Is there anything that Jesus would drive out of our lives in anger?
- Are we hindering others from worshipping God because of the way we live?
- Are we living lives that are pleasing to God, and being a blessing to others instead of a hindrance?