Simply the Bible Blog

Daily Devotion and Podcast

Holy Week–Day 2


Take a moment to study this picture. It portrays Jesus cleansing the temple, overturning the tables and driving out the merchants and moneychangers. They look afraid, but Jesus looks stern. He seems neither violent nor vulnerable. Rather He stands upright like a wall of righteousness with the authority of His Heavenly Father.

This is one of two events that the gospel narratives tell us Jesus did on Monday. The other is cursing the fruitless fig tree (Matthew 21:18-19).

And He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a ‘den of thieves.’” (Matthew 21:13, NKJV)

We are told that they had “set up shop” in the court of the Gentiles. This was as close as a non-Jew could get to the LORD. While the Gentiles would attempt to pray, they would hear bleating sheep, clinking coins, and haggling between buyers and sellers. It wasn’t a  temple; it was a  flea market. Even worse, Jesus called it “a den of thieves.” These merchants and moneychangers were gouging the people who were desperate to worship God. Jesus sternly cleansed the temple of anything that would hinder true worshipers from approaching God.

The Bible tells us that we are the temple of the Holy Spirit both individually (1 Corinthians 6:19) and collectively (1 Corinthians 3:16). I believe that Jesus is just as stern today when something or someone hinders us or others from worshiping God. He is jealous for our sincere worship.

Therefore, as we prepare for this Holy Week, I think it would be good for us to ask God to search our hearts (Psalm 139:23-24). Let’s ask Jesus to cleanse our temple of anything that would keep us from being a house of prayer.

What will He cleanse from our hearts if we ask Him? What have we allowed to come between us and our worship of God? Pride? Envy? Bitterness? Selfishness? Greed? Lust?

Would you pray this simple temple-cleansing prayer with me?

“Heavenly Father, thank you for sending Jesus to help us in our weakness. We have often allowed things to creep into our hearts that have taken root and hindered us from worshiping you in spirit and truth. Please forgive us of these. Open our eyes to see the things in us that make you jealous for our affection. Help us to confess them and drive them out. Make us a house of prayer, offering thanksgiving, praises and spiritual songs to You. We pray this in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, amen.”

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