With the church just celebrating Palm Sunday this past week, it brings my mind to the last week that Jesus would spend with his disciples before the cross. This week is commonly referred to as Holy Week and the events that took place after he entered the city of Jerusalem would certainty change the course of humanity.
We read in Matthew 21 that Jesus entered the temple once he arrived in the city. What happened next was surely unexpected by all those who were there.
It may be difficult for some to think about Jesus becoming angry, but that is exactly what happened. As he entered the temple, he witnessed people who had traveled for many miles to come for worship being taken advantage of. The temple was intended to be a place of learning, it was a place to come and worship the one true God. It was a place for the people of God to come and visit, and leave knowing that God had met them there. It was not a place for man to benefit financially. It was a place to pray to the one true God, confess your sins and leave there knowing that God had forgiven you.
Jesus, witnessing this great injustice to the people of God became furious. He overturned the tables and cast out those who were willfully taking advantage of others. This event is known by many as “The cleansing of the Temple.”
As I pondered on what happened that day, it made me begin to think; what if Jesus visited our houses of worship today? What would he find? Would he be pleased? Would he find our churches as a place of prayer and healing for those who are hurting, or just a gathering of people? Or how about this…would he feel welcomed? I understand that these may be hard questions to ask ourselves, but also necessary.
There were people who would gather at the temple year after year that had many needs and its very probable that they left the same way that they came.
But on this particular Monday, Jesus went in and set things right in the temple and the next verse says this:
Are we seeing miracles in our churches today? If we are not…maybe we need to cleanse our temples!
Before the house of God can be cleansed the people of God need to be cleansed. As we celebrate the resurrection of our Savior, it would be a good time to take a look at our own lives and make sure that we are living a life that is pleasing to Him. If there are things that need to be cleansed, remember that we serve a God that loves and forgives!
Pastor Scott, St. Paul Assembly of God