Jesus entered the temple area 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.
While visiting The Wailing Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem last year, I came across a note written by the Rabbi of the Western Wall and Holy Sites which read:
“Dear Visitors, you are approaching the holy site of the Western Wall where the Divine Presence always rests. Please make sure you are appropriately and modestly dressed so as not to cause harm to this holy place or the feelings of the worshippers.”
How I wish a similar note existed during the time of Jesus. Then He wouldn’t have had to take such drastic measures when He walked into the Temple the day after His triumphal entry, driving out those who were showing no regard for the sanctity of the place. They had turned the outer court, the only area where the Gentiles were allowed to pray, into a marketplace. “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'” (v. 13).
He had every right to be outraged. Showing no regard for the things of God is completely wrong and unacceptable. He had to set the record straight. When you enter The Western Wall or the remaining wall of the Second Temple, you will see that it’s held as uniquely holy, a place where many gather for prayer and worship.
Thankfully, Jesus still cleans house today. I’m referring to the things in our lives that don’t fit who we are as His children, the sinful things we secretly harbor in our hearts, such as unforgiveness, resentment, pride, jealousy, envy, greed… Many have asked if this pandemic is a sign of God’s judgement on humanity. I don’t know. But what I do know is that it can be an opportunity to examine ourselves, allowing us to make peace with God, ourselves and others. God can use it to clean us from the inside-out.
Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. (Psalm 51:10)