Jesus went into the temple in Jerusalem and looked around, took notice, went His way sat down and made a whip and came back starting to drive out those selling and buying in the temple saying: ‘Do not make my Father’s house a house of merchandise’. At the end of His ministry He came back into the temple and what He some years earlier had destroyed and thrown out of the temple was now back and the commerce was going on just as usual, this time He turned over the moneychangers tables and drove out those buying and selling this time shouting ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations’.
It seems like we humans have an unstoppable ability to twist God’s purpose and turn things our own way, to benefit ourselves, to reflect our desires instead of His will, plan and purpose. The first of the Ten Commandments commands us not to make ourselves any idols and carved images. We seem to have a un-bend, inbuilt force to build idols that are reflections of ourselves turning things our own way. This what I believe Jesus was after when He drove those selling and buying, not just those selling, but also those buying, they were just as guilty.
Jesus cleansed the temple then and today when we are the temple of the Holy Spirit He will some time after time to restore the order in the Temple of God. What was Jesus really doing in the Temple? He restored it back to its god given purpose, the temple was different from everything else, it was supposed to be a place where people worshipped God, sacrificed and that way healed their relationship with God. It was a meeting place between man and God, a place of restoration, a place of prayer for the nations.
What are we doing with the church today? Are we turning it into an activity center where everything center’s around ourselves and our own desires or are we keeping it clean and tidy to be a place where people can get their relationship with God restored, worshipping Him and giving praise to His holy name. Prayer and worship is a way to keep the temple, the church clean and tidy, keep it focused on Him who is the very purpose of its very existence.