1 Corinthians 3:16 - Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you?
What happens when "business as usual" is sin? Think of the merchants and the money changers, sitting there comfortably in the large temple court, doing business just as they had done every day for years. Listen to the lambs bleating and the pigeons calling from their cages. Don't breathe too deeply—the smell is pretty bad. Over in the corner, men are arguing over the exchange of ordinary money for the kind used in the temple. Who is cheating whom?
It was business as usual—a strange business, we might think, to be going on in the very temple of God. Oh, it was convenient, all right—for the pilgrims who needed to buy sacrifices to offer, and even more so for the temple authorities who made money from the market. Very convenient indeed—except for the worshipers who were supposed to be there. For this marketplace was the Court of the Gentiles, and the only place where anyone, even a non-Jewish foreigner, was welcome to come and pray to the God of Israel. If they could concentrate, of course!
Into this unholy mess comes Jesus, eyes flashing, hands busy braiding a whip. "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" (Mark 11:17). Bang! and He tips over the tables, and all that money falls into the dirt. Crash! and the chairs of the bird-sellers go flying. "Get these things out of here!" He says.
Very shortly a different kind of business was going on. The merchants had vanished; instead, worshippers were using the place for prayer. Blind and lame people came to Jesus in the temple, and He healed them. Jesus taught anyone who would listen about the kingdom of God. And the little children were singing, "Hosanna to the Son of David!" (Matthew 21:15)
What is "business as usual" in your own heart? It is the temple of God—has anything crept in that should not be there, like concerns for money or power? If so, ask Jesus to clear it out and replace it with what should be usual there—worship, prayer, learning, service. He will gladly do it. Your heart is His home.
THE PRAYER: Lord, make my heart a fitting home for You. Amen.
When have you seen improper business going on in a holy place?
What improper business is going on in your heart that you would like to see evicted? Only answer if you wish.
What specific "proper business" would you like to see the Holy Spirit establish in your heart?
Lenten Devotions were written by Dr. Kari Vo.
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