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. And He would not allow anyone to carry anything through the temple. 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." (Mark 11:15b-17)
When I noticed Jesus was driving out the buyers in the temple, I wondered if that was fair. After all, they never set up an animal market in the temple grounds. They simply took advantage of it. Why penalize them?
But of course, if no one was willing to buy those animals, the market would have had to shut down. The evil could only continue if buyers were enabling it.
It makes me want to take a closer look at the situations I enable—at the evils that continue because somehow I and other people are feeding money, or time, or attention into them. Jesus will not excuse me as easily as I excuse myself: "I know this is bad, but if I didn't buy this, or watch this, or read this, or enjoy this, somebody else would, so why not?"
Jesus will not excuse me—but He will forgive me. He will send His Holy Spirit into my heart to chase out greed and laziness—to teach me better when I am confused—to turn my heart to be more like His. He will do this because He has paid a high price for me and for you, the highest—His own suffering and death on the cross. He loves us too dearly to allow us to remain involved in evil. He will cleanse us—and give us everlasting life.
THE PRAYER: Lord, search my heart and make it clean for You. Amen.
* Do you think the buyers understood why Jesus chased them out? Why or why not?
* What modern evils do you know of that so-called innocent people enable through money or attention?
* Is there an area of your life you'd like Jesus to clean up for you?
Lenten Devotions were written by Dr. Kari Vo.
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