Written by Peter
15 And they came to Jerusalem. And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold and those who bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. 16 And he would not allow anyone to carry anything through the temple. 17 And he was teaching them and saying to them, “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations’? But you have made it a den of robbers.” 18 And the chief priests and the scribes heard it and were seeking a way to destroy him, for they feared him, because all the crowd was astonished at his teaching. 19 And when evening came they went out of the city.
What is the worst thing you did at School? This might surprise you, but when I was at Primary School, I wasn’t the most well behaved kid. It wasn’t that I was a bully or anything like that, I was just too curious and mischievous for my own good. On one occasion, equipped with a HB pencil and a can do attitude, I started to dig a whole on the grass outside during my lunch break. I was convinced that if I dug far enough I would uncover some long lost treasure.
“Stop that, Peter!” I remember the teacher shouting across the yard. “You are at school not home!” She yelled. She was right. What would have been adventurous fun at home was inappropriate at school, especially considering my uniform now had muddy marks all over.
In a similar but much more serious way, this was what Jesus was dealing with in Mark 11. There were people selling pigeons and changing money inside the temple. This was not taking place in the Holy of Holies, nor the court of the Priests, nor the court Israel, nor the court of women but it seemed in people’s minds to be okay to do in the Gentile Court. After all, they probably thought, the gentiles aren’t as important.
It was not wrong to have people selling animals or to be changing money but not in the Temple! And not even in the Gentile court! As Jesus put it, “My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations.” What they were doing wasn’t wrong but it was wrong where they were doing it.
What does this all mean for us? There are a number of application points that we could draw upon but let me focus on just one.
We are now the Temple of God. We don’t have different courts as the Jewish Temple did, but we do have many sections or aspects to our lives. All of our lives, every section, every aspect, should be a place of prayer and worship - not just the Sunday morning section of our lives.
We often over priorities things in our lives that distract us from God. Let me ask this questions: what figurative tables do we need to overturn in our lives to ensure our whole lives are a place of prayer and worship?