Becoming a House of Prayer
Jesus had just ridden into Jerusalem in what has been called his triumphal entry. His disciples had gotten him a young donkey to ride and as he neared Jerusalem the people threw their garments on the ground before him and waving palm branches they cried out, “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”
As he neared Jerusalem he looked down upon the city and wept because he knew that the leaders of their religion would not receive him and they were missing their hour of visitation. As he wept he cried out, “If you, even you had only known on this day what would bring you peace – but now it is hidden from your eyes” (v42).
It was in this frame of mind that Jesus entered the temple and was moved by what he saw there. The temple was built to be the house of God. It would be the place where people would come in humility to make offering to the Lord God, seeking his forgiveness and his righteousness.
What he found there was money merchants charging high fees to change their money into temple currency and other merchants taking advantage of those who had traveled far on a pilgrimage to the temple. They were selling animals for sacrifice at exorbitant prices thereby cheating the people. Jesus became so furious at the pollution of the sacred in the temple that he drove those hypocrites from the temple.
Today we have churches, but the true house of God is the temple of our heart. There is a warning in this passage that we must be careful so that we do not allow the same spirit of avarice into our hearts that was in the temple of Jerusalem. We must be careful to make our temple a place of humble prayer and submission to God.
Prayer: Lord, Help me to make my heart a temple of prayer.