“Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. ‘It is written,’ he said to them, ‘My house will be called a house of prayer, but you are making it a den of robbers” (Matthew 21:12-13). The day before, Jesus had ridden into Jerusalem to shouts of praise and adoration. Palm branches paved his way and the people shouted words of adoration to the man they believed could be their Messiah. The crowd was filled with joy and excitement. The Jewish leaders were filled with indignation and rage. And so began Easter week.
Monday morning arrived and Jesus and his disciples left the home of Lazurus, Mary and Martha in Bethany, and once again traveled the road to Jerusalem. Jesus went to the temple where he found the vendors crowding the temple, vying for the best positions to insure a good business week. These vendors provided the goods people needed so they could make the necessary temple sacrifices and then continue their normal activities for the day. Picture Jesus walking straight up to each table, grabbing the side of it and flipping it over. Coins rolled over the stone floor, doves, freed from their traps flew madly about the temple, and every person in the temple was staring at Jesus. Now picture the faces of his disciples. Did they know what he was going to do before they got there, or were they as shocked as the rest of the people?
Next, Jesus tells all of them that the temple is supposed to be a house of prayer, but it has been turned into a “den of robbers”. There are things that could be said about the church today. The only perfect church is in heaven. My thoughts travel a different direction. Scripture explains that you and I are the temple now
(1 Corinthians 6:19-20). The Holy Spirit indwells us. Our bodies are to be those houses of prayer. Would Jesus be pleased with the temple that you are today? Or are there some “tables” that he would grab and overturn?
On this Monday before Easter, let yourself be a house of prayer. Walk all day long today with thoughts of God, praise for who He is and a desire to repent of anything He is not pleased to find in your life. And when He walks up to one of those “tables” and grabs the edge of it, let him turn it upside down. Then watch as those caged birds fly away, set free. This is a good day to clean God’s house. Easter Sunday is coming.