Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the moneychangers and the benches of those selling doves. Matthew 21:12

This is an interesting story in the Scripture. Some assume Jesus was angry, yet the Bible never says that He was. But why does he feel the necessity to overturn tables and expel the money changers?

The issue is most likely that Jewish coins were mixed with the Roman coins. The latter bore the image of Caesar, and Jesus made a clear distinction about giving to Caesar, or the world system, what it is owed whilst giving to God what is owed to Him. (Mark 12:17)

Jesus makes it clear that the Temple is a house of prayer, as declared by Isaiah.(Isaiah 56:7) There is a distinction made between God and the world. Jesus is demonstrating that there is much that will distract us from God in the opportunities and activities life affords. We must have an eye to remain focussed upon God.

Of course we know that we are indeed today’s temples of the Holy Spirit.( 1 Corinthians 6:12-20) We are to ensure that our outward and visible actions together with our inner and hidden thoughts are pure. There’s always a danger that, like the Pharisees, we can clean up our act on the outside, whilst refusing to address the inner world of our natural appetites.

As temples of the Holy Spirit we are sources of continuous prayer wherever we go. St. Paul reminds us in his letter to the Thessalonians, we are to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17). So in short we have a responsibility to ensure we are fit for the purpose of prayer and service as God intends.

I must ask myself in everything I think and do, am I responding to Jesus’ invitation to follow Him? I recognise it is all too easily to attempt great things for God, yet to compromise on the faith that alone can give them value and virtue.

Something to Consider: Review what you do and why you do it. Consider if this is how God intends you to live as a temple of the Holy Spirit.

A Prayer to Make: ‘Lord, may my life act as a prayer for the nations.’

Photo by William Bout on Unsplash

Used with Permission

Micha Jazz is Director of Resources at Waverley Abbey, UK.