“Jesus entered the temple and began to drive out all the people buying and selling animals for sacrifice. He knocked over the table of the money changers and the chairs of those selling doves. He said to them, ‘The Scriptures declare, ‘My Temple will be called a house of prayer, but you have turned it into a den of thieves!'” Matthew 21:12-13 (NLT)
It was mass pandemonium. The sound of hooves pounding, birds squawking, children shrieking, sheep bleating, men yelling, and whips lashing filled the early morning air. Those making their way to the Temple paused, bewildered. Some marched onward resolutely; others, fearing the unknown, turned back, not desiring to face the commotion that wafted from the Temple doorways.
What was the cause of the chaos? In one word: Jesus.
Until Jesus arrived in Jerusalem, the work in the Temple had continued unabated. People bought and sold – and were cheated in the process. It was a known fact. But no one complained. Live and let live. Keep the peace.
But when Jesus enters the scene, the peace evaporates. Whips lash. Coins fly. Men scatter.
Because Jesus cannot abide in a Temple that houses sin.
And today, friends, you and I are His Temple:
“Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20a (NLT)
And if you and I are the Temple of God, friends, then when we allow sin to take up residence in our lives, we can expect no less.
Yes, Jesus is kind.
Yes, Jesus is compassionate.
And yes, when sin is present…Jesus will come with a whip and drive it out.
Because He is holy. And He has called us to be holy, too.
“But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy. For the Scriptures say, “You must be holy because I am holy.” 1 Pet. 1:15-16 (NLT)
It’s a messy process.
It’s a chaotic process.
Money flies, animals stampede, lashes fall, and life is disrupted.
But the end result is worth it all:
Being conformed to His image.
Obedience to His Word.
I’m so glad I serve a Savior who loved me enough to die for me…
And loves me enough to drive out all that doesn’t please Him in my life – in His Temple – so that I can be who He has called me to be.
What an amazing God He is!