Summary: Since God lives in us, we need to keep His house uncluttered and in line with His purpose.
Good Housekeeping: God’s home is where your heart is
I. The Place of the Temple (Believers, individually and collectively)
II. The Purpose of the Temple (Prayer, Worship, & Ministry)
III. The Purity of the Temple
-Mark 11:15-17 15 On reaching Jerusalem, Jesus entered the temple area 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’? But you have made it ’a den of robbers.’"
-John 2:13-17 13 When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 In the temple courts he found men selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. 15 So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple area, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. 16 To those who sold doves he said, "Get these out of here! How dare you turn my Father’s house into a market!" 17 His disciples remembered that it is written: "Zeal for your house will consume me."
Intro: Have you ever wondered what was going on in this passage? Why did Jesus get so upset about this situation? He and everyone else knew there had to be moneychangers during Passover, because many Jews traveled long distances and had a different form of currency with them than was used in Jerusalem. The foreign currency needed to be standardized. Also, Jewish law required people who traveled long distances to purchase the animals for their sacrifices in Jerusalem so their animals would not be worn down or injured from the travel. They were to give God their very best. So, what was the problem?
-Well, the problem was that commerce had taken over the outer courts of the temple, the only part of the temple where Gentiles were allowed to come and worship. Business had crowded out worship. Furthermore, there are indications that the high priest and his cronies were fraudulently making large amounts of money off of the worshipers – cheating them on the exchange rates and only approving the sacrificial animals that they sold right there at the temple.
-In such an environment, there was little or no genuine prayer or worship happening in the outer courts. This is why in Mark 11:17, Jesus said that His Father’s house was to be a house of prayer for the nations – referring to the Gentiles. Where else did they have to connect with the one true God?
-So what do we do with this intense, almost troubling story, where Jesus appears to lose His cool and offends the temple authorities? The Bible makes it clear that God does not live in buildings made by human hands. However, He does live in those who trust Him with their lives and love Him with their whole hearts. Here is the main thought I want to deliver today:
Prop: Since God lives in us, we need to keep His house uncluttered and in line with His purpose.