The Cleansing of the Temple of Our Hearts

We are continuing our meditation from yesterday of Christ coming into the temple courts and clearing out the money-changers and the sellers of animals (Scroll down for yesterday’s meditation). Christ demonstrated a love and concern for the poor, the helpless, and those ostracized from society. He would not put up with the evil injustices that were going on in the temple courts. Do we, as Christ’s representatives, give the same consideration to the injustices that go on around us? Sadly, we are often influenced more by the culture around us than the Christ within us. We do not always see the injustice being done or the opportunities that we should meet right in front of our eyes. Those in Jesus’ day may not have noticed the injustice being done in the Temple. We can become desensitized to sin when we live with it in our midst.

When God arrives in a situation, however, He brings to light those things which have been done in secret. Some of those things about which we have read may have become accepted and tolerated for so long, but there will come a day when “the Lord you seek will suddenly come to His temple, the Messenger of the covenant you desire—see, He is coming,” says the LORD of Hosts (Malachi 3:1). He is a defender of those who are vulnerable. When the Day of the Lord comes, He will come with justice.

Because Christ is perfect, He could judge the sin in the Temple. He not only judged but also went on to demonstrate in the most powerful way imaginable what true love is. He sacrificed His own life as a ransom for ours. God’s justice was equally mirrored by His mercy and His great love for us. The reason some people are not receptive to the message, which attempts to set forth the justice and righteousness of God, is often because the mercy of God is not present in a demonstrative way. People instinctively know when something is true and genuine. When Jesus spoke the truth, He did so in love, and people responded. He could say difficult things and reach people’s hearts because He loved them.  Knowing that our own righteousness is nothing and that we all need His grace, we need to have right heart motives if we are to stand for the righteousness of God. At the core of our lives, each of us in turn have an inner court of the temple of our spirit:

Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? (1 Corinthians 3:16).

The Lord Jesus wants to come and upturn the tables in our hearts, where the love of food, money, or other things are set up as idols in our hearts. For some, it is a matter of idolizing people or a certain individual, giving them first place in your life rather than worshiping the God who created us. What things is the Lord of Love speaking to you as you read these words? What cleansing needs to come?

In cleansing the Temple, Jesus was not only zealous of His Father’s house but also for the people who were being affected as the Temple became nothing more than a den of thieves. It was not just the dishonest gain and lack of respect that angered Him, but the fact that people were not experiencing anything that would draw them to the Father. His Father’s House was to be a house of prayer! He is zealous today, not for stone and mortar, i.e. not for a building made of hands, but for you.

Taken from the series on the Book of Luke, found in the middle column near to the top. To view, click here. Click on study 52. Luke 19:28-48, The King Comes to His Temple. Keith Thomas