Jesus entered the Temple and began to drive out all the people buying and selling animals for sacrifice. He knocked over the tables 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!” The blind and the lame came to him in the Temple, and he healed them.
The irony of this passage is striking. Those who were ritually expected to be in the temple were driven out while those who were ritually excluded were received.
The “den of thieves” was a place to hide after committing a crime. In Jeremiah’s day the people who came to the temple had no intention of seeking God’s forgiveness so that they might change their ways. They merely sought deliverance so they could continue in their sins (Jeremiah 7:8-11). The same was true here, but Jesus clears the way for people to genuinely meet God and be changed. What happens next drives home this truth.
“The blind and the lame came to him in the Temple, and he healed them.” (Italics mine.) They were ritually forbidden from entering the temple (2 Samuel 5:6-8)! Jesus tore down this barrier and healed those who boldly came to Him seeking change.
Too often we can fall prey to the wrong thinking that we must put on a good show when we come to Jesus. Jesus, who can see through this façade, isn’t looking for a good show. He is looking for people who will come to Him seeking to be changed. God’s forgiveness is designed to set us free from the things that hold us back so that we are free to walk in newness of life.
Is there an area of your life that needs to change? If there is, it probably just flashed through your mind…that is the Holy Spirit helping you. Come to Jesus. Ask Him to take control of that area and to help you change. Are you unable to spiritually see where to go or unable to walk in the direction you are seeing? Come to Jesus. If you draw near to Him, He will change and restore you.
Lord, take control of my life. Show me how to cooperate with the Spirit who desires to bring Your changes in my life. Hosanna (I request your help) King Jesus! I know you will answer when I call. Amen.
Dialog discuss: Researchers like Barna, Gallop, and others are finding it increasingly difficult to differentiate the behaviors and values of self-identified Christians from non-Christians with one exception-what they buy. Total sales of religious goods in America is nearly $7 billion annually. That is a whole lot of Tommy Hellfighter t-shirts, Jesus is my Homeboy underwear, and Fruit of the Spirit energy drinks. Skye Jethani, managing editor of Leadership