Cleansing the Temple

Read: Mark 11:15-19

He entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold. (v. 15)

The temple was designed to be a space for people to meet with God. However, when Jesus entered the temple, what did he find?

It was already full. Jesus entered the space created especially for his presence and found it already full. It was already cluttered with money changers, buying and selling animals for sacrifice. Not only was there no room for Jesus—no room for the presence of the King—but this crowded temple court was the Gentile court where outsiders could come and worship. And there was no room. No room for the outsider, no room for the presence of the King in that space.

So Jesus cleaned house. When Jesus entered the space designed for him, he was incredibly disruptive. He flipped tables, drove out merchants, and refused to let people carry merchandise through the temple. He took what hindered, what distracted, what got in the way of deep fellowship with him (for both Jews and Gentiles) and removed it. In cleansing the temple, Jesus himself was making it possible to more fully embrace the King.

What keeps you from worshiping Jesus? This Lent, instead of resisting, maybe we should invite Jesus to do this disruptive work. Let him cleanse and fill the space that was created just for fellowship with him. Let him remove what clutters our hearts and lives so that we can love our God and our neighbor.

As you pray, ask Jesus to come and cleanse you so you can be filled with his presence.

About the Author

Stephen Shaffer is the pastor at Bethel Reformed Church in Brantford, Ontario.

This entry is part 5 of 31 in the series Looking to Jesus