Most people know the story of Jesus clearing the temple. It is a picture of our Savior not many people are comfortable with. It is found in Matthew 21:12, Mark 11:15 and Luke 19:45. Jesus comes into the temple and sees the buying and selling of merchandise. He becomes angry, turns over tables, drives out the money changers and says, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a ‘den of thieves.’ ”
Unfortunately these passages have often been misunderstood and misused in the past to browbeat people into believing that Jesus is mad at them for the things they are doing wrong.
The Bible does say we are the temple of the Holy Spirit in 1st Corinthians 6:19. I am convinced that He was not mad at His temple then, and He is not mad at His temple today. So why was He so angry? I encourage you to study all the accounts of Him clearing the temple and you will find that the changing of money and the selling of animals was part of what was supposed to be happening. Unfortunately the greed of some had made that the main thing. Jesus was not just angry about what was going on in the temple, but rather He was angrier about was not going on in the temple, and what was not going on was prayer. “My house shall be called a house of prayer.”
For those who have said yes to Jesus by asking Him into their lives and making Him Savior and Lord, they have then become the temple of the Holy Spirit. They are His house that carries His presence. That is why Jesus said, “The Kingdom of God is within you” in Luke 17:21. As it was then, so it is today. He wants His house to be a house of prayer because He loves you, His temple, and He wants to spend time with you.
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Jesus is not mad at you; He loves His temple. How does He prove this? He died on a cross for you and still wants to drive out all the thieves that rob your relationship with Him and steal the abundant life He wants you to have. He wants to drive out those things that pilfer the power that demonstrates His Kingdom on planet earth.
When prayer becomes our desire rather than our duty, we will quickly learn that God is not mad at us. He is actually more excited about us then we are of Him. He wants to spend time with us more than we want to spend time with Him and He loves us more than we could ever love Him.
That’s the Kingdom perspective!
Don Sturiano, pastor of Kingdom Life Christian Church, can be reached at 776-0026. Kingdom Life Christian Church meets 10:30 a.m. at The Renaissance on 9th/Senior Enrichment Center 1816 Ninth St. W., Bradenton. For more information, visit www.kingdomlife christianchurch.org.