There is a great hymn whose first line goes like this: “I have decided to follow Jesus; no turning back, no turning back.”
This week we have decided to take those words literally. We are going to follow Jesus on the journey of his last week on earth; the most important, impacting week that was ever lived on this planet.
Each day take a little time (20-40 minutes) to read each passage and devotional thought. Reflect on the questions at the end of each section and allow the Holy Spirit to speak to your heart. Receive the truth, even it if hurts, because He gives it with love. Allow Him to transform your thinking, your agendas, your outlook and your passions. By doing so, you are following the path of Jesus and will experience a greater measure of life that you never thought possible. It will be a week that will change your world.
Cleansing the Temple (Mark 11:15-18)
15 On reaching Jerusalem, Jesus entered the temple courts and began driving out those who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves, 16 and would not allow anyone to carry merchandise through the temple courts. 17 And as he taught them, he said, “Is it not written: ‘My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations’[a]?But you have made it ‘a den of robbers. 18 The chief priests and the teachers of the law heard this and began looking for a way to kill him, for they feared him, because the whole crowd was amazed at his teaching.
What do you think of Jesus’ reaction to the money changers and merchants? He was pretty mad – almost out of control. Why? Because destructive elements were allowed to corrupt something very important to him – his Father’s house.
Both the money changers and the merchants exploited people. They took advantage of people’s situation for their gain. Sometimes people were kept from worshiping God because they could not afford the usury fees. In other words, they defiled the Great Commandment (loving others and worshiping God).
Today, Jesus is still very concerned about his Father’s house. Only his Father’s house is no longer located in Jerusalem. It is in your heart, your life, your being (1 Cor. 3:16).
What destructive elements are allowed to exist in the Temple of your heart? Greed, anger, revenge, lack of mercy, gossip, strife, bitterness, and blind ambition keep you from loving others. Pride, busyness, duplicity, personal agendas and love of the world keep you from worshiping God.
Jesus invites you to ruthlessly “turn over the tables” in God’s house – your heart. With the Spirit’s help, transform your heart from a robber’s den to a place where worshiping God and loving people flows freely.