The Cleansing of the Temple of Our Hearts


We are continuing our meditation from yesterday of Christ coming into the temple courts and clearing out the money-changers and the sellers of animals. Christ demonstrated love and concern for the poor, the helpless, and those isolated from society. He would not put up with the evil injustices going on in the temple courts. Do we, as Christ's representatives, give the same consideration to the wrongs around us? Sadly, we are too often influenced by the culture around us than by Christ within us. We do not always see injustice being done or the opportunities that we should meet right in front of our eyes. Those in Jesus' day may not have noticed the wrongs done in the Temple. We can become desensitized to sin when we live with it in our midst.


When God arrives in a situation, however, He brings to light those things done in secret. The evils that go on in our society become accepted and tolerated for only so long before a day when God will hold all to account: "the Lord you seek will suddenly come to His temple, the Messenger of the covenant you desire—see, He is coming," says the LORD of Hosts (Malachi 3:1). The Lord is a defender of the vulnerable, the widows, fatherless and the innocents (Jeremiah 22:3). When the Day of the Lord comes, He will come with justice.

Because Christ is perfect, He could judge the sin in the Temple. He not only judged but also demonstrated what real love is in the most powerful way imaginable. He sacrificed His own life as a ransom payment for ours. God's justice is equally mirrored by His mercy and His great love for us. The reason some people are not receptive to the gospel message, is perhaps due to a lack of the mercy of God not being present in a demonstrative way. People instinctively know when something is authentic and genuine. When Jesus spoke the truth, He did so in love, and people responded. He could say difficult things and reach people's hearts because He loved them. Knowing that our righteousness is nothing and that we all need God's grace, we need to have the right heart motives if we are to stand for the righteousness of God.


At the core of our lives, each of us has an inner court of the temple of our spirit:


Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? (1 Corinthians 3:16).


The Lord Jesus wants to come and upturn the tables in our hearts, where the love of food, money or other things are set up as idols. For some, it is a matter of idolizing people or a particular individual, giving them first place in your life rather than worshiping the God who created us. What things is the Lord of Love speaking to you as you read these words? What cleansing needs to come?


In cleansing the Temple, Jesus was not only zealous of His Father's house but also for the people affected by the Temple becoming a den of thieves. It was not just the dishonest gain and lack of respect that angered Him, but the fact that people were not experiencing anything that would draw them to the Father. His Father's House was to be a house of prayer. He is zealous today, not for stone and mortar, i.e., not for a building made of hands, but for you.

Keith Thomas


Taken from the series on the Book of Luke. Click on study 52. Luke 19:28-48, The King Comes to His Temple.