“Then Jesus entered the temple courts and began to drive out those who were selling things there, saying to them, “It is written, ʻMy house will be a house of prayer, but you have turned it into a den of robbers!”
Jesus was teaching daily in the temple courts. The chief priests and the experts in the law and the prominent leaders among the people were seeking to assassinate him, but they could not find a way to do it, for all the people hung on his words.” (Luke 19:45-48)
Jesus, as I read this I see that revolutions begin at home. Your revolt against sin, religious corruption, and materialism began in “Your house.” If I were to read through your Old Testament I would see throughout it, Whenever God wants to initiate a revolution and radical return to Him in Israel’s midst, he begins at home, he begins with their worship practices. He did so with Josiah as He used him for revolt and reform.
“The king ordered Hilkiah the high priest, the priests next in rank and the doorkeepers to remove from the temple of the Lord all the articles made for Baal and Asherah and all the starry hosts. He burned them outside Jerusalem in the fields of the Kidron Valley and took the ashes to Bethel. He did away with the idolatrous priests appointed by the kings of Judah to burn incense on the high places of the towns of Judah and on those around Jerusalem--those who burned incense to Baal, to the sun and moon, to the constellations and to all the starry hosts. He took the Asherah pole from the temple of the Lord to the Kidron Valley outside Jerusalem and burned it there. (2 Kings 23:4-6)
When God is going to make a move he begins by restoring the core of worship. Jesus was not part of the religious church of His day. He was not a Pharisee, Scribe, Priest, Elder or a religious leader, but He goes straight to their center, their worship, and where they encounter God, The Temple. And His goal is revelution, to turn everything around.
"It is written,"he said to them, "'My house will be a house of prayer'; but you have made it 'a den of robbers.'"
The Temple was supposed to be a place where the poor and the oppressed found refuge. Instead, they found themselves overlooked and pushed to margins of the society. The religious insiders had turned it into a place of privilege that looked at worldly status, wealth and privilege. The exact opposite of what God intended had happened.
Jesus, your story in Luke is also relevant today. The church has been a place of beautiful steeples where power, privilege and wealth collect. Where people hang out with others of the same social views, political views, who drink coffee and listen to Casting Crowns. No wonder we speak so much of “going to church.” And the poor and the oppressed find themselves pushed out to the margins of society and blamed for their own condition.
Jesus, it is time for some reform at home again. Cut through the ritualistic ruts of the religious tracks in our churches, We invite You to come in and turn over some tables and drive out what should not be there. And where is your temple, your home where You reside today? It is in your people. It is in me! You and I are the living temples where the presence of God through His Holy Spirit resides. So Lord Jesus, I ask you to come turn over tables in me! Reveal in my heart and mind, areas in my body, your Temple, that I have corrupted and made a “Den of Thieves.” Areas where I have placed obeying and identifying with religion, denomination, and church practices and traditions over obeying and identifying with You. Remind me that I don’t work for a church or denomination, I work for You so I do not burn out or sell out. Cleanse your Temple, cleanse me today! Cleanses the stable of my heart where Immanuel, the babe of Christmas resides. Start a revolution in me! Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy, Lord have mercy.
My family, I pray today that you in prayer and the Holy Spirit you invite Jesus into your heart and life to turn over tables of areas of corruption, outward sin, and religious idolatry, I pray you ask Him to have mercy on you, cleanse you, and begin a radical revolution of love and grace at home, which is you. In Jesus’ name. Please pray the same for me! God bless you my friends!
I never intended this blog to be solely a one way correspondence. I really would love to hear your reflections, and I believe they would encourage others. So please share your reflections and prayers with us on this blog in the comment box below.
Gary Liederbach- Lead Follower
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