Summary: Jesus cleans the temple and declares the right use of the temple as a house of prayer.
For far too long, the church has assumed ownership and authority of the House of God, and have used His House in a way that best suits her own needs and her own kingdom.
We have allowed too much of the world in the church, and not enough of the church in the world.
The real audacity is that we use His House for our benefit, yet we still expect Him to show up from time to time.
A PERSON’S HOUSE IS NOT SOME PLACE THAT THEY VISIT ONCE IN A WHILE; IT IS WHERE THEY DWELL.
Jesus told us recently that He was pleased with us, and that with SPAG He has found a place He can visit. But, if we as a church want Jesus to dwell in His House, then we must allow Him to get His House in order.
“Jesus wishes to revolutionize the use of the temple, which has been diverted from prayer to lesser practices.”
1. A Restoration of His Presence
Far too many places have forced Jesus to stay outside.
It isn’t politically correct to have the presence of God come and convict sinners and change lives.
When God’s presence comes, He changes everything and that offends people all the time.
PEOPLE HAVE ALWAYS WANTED A MESSIAH THAT FITS WITHIN THEIR BOX OF EXPECTATIONS. IF HE CHOOSES TO SHOW UP IN ANOTHER WAY, THESE PEOPLE REASON THAT HE ISN’T REALLY THE MESSIAH AND THEY DO WHATEVER IT TAKES TO REMOVE HIM.
God is not looking for the approval of anybody. He is coming in a strong and mighty way.
It is His presence and only His presence that ever accomplishes anything of eternal value. He is in a hurry and He is bringing His presence in a filling way.
2. A Restoration of Prayer
Jesus will dwell in a house of prayer.
The prayer that He is restoring is that which will shape and change our lives.
This prayer will usher a violent overtaking/overturning of all the things that are wrong in the House of God, and in the lives of His people.
Through prayer, God is removing and breaking down idolatry, pride, disunity, strife & contention, backbiting, disrespect, self-exultation, childishness, and all forms of Godlessness.
A house of prayer is a clean and swept house that has been put in order and remains that way—the way that the Owner desires.
3. A Restoration of His Power
Right on the heels of the cleansing of His house, His power came and brought healing and deliverance.
The blind were healed—those who were unable to see physically as well as those who were unable to see spiritually. This also speaks of a restoration of vision.
The lame were healed—those who lacked physical mobility as well as those who wander about aimlessly in life spiritually. This speaks of a restoration of power.
Having condemned the wrong use of His House, Jesus now shows them the way it is designed to be used—to bring freedom and healing.
This is God’s way of breathing and bringing new life into His House.
This is REVIVAL = Church/Life the way God intends.
4. A Restoration of Praise
The praise was coming from the children and it ticked off the religious. Don’t you know it isn’t appropriate to shout and praise in such a way.
Often, the same ones that yell like Comanche Indians at a ballgame will sit like wooden Indians in a church service. Something is wrong with that picture.
From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise because of your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger. Psalm 8:2
Those who aren’t praising are apparently comfortable with what the enemy is saying. But, when we mind hearing what the enemy has to say, we’re gonna lift our voice in praise to the Lord.
We have got to approach God with the faith of a child.
My nephew hurt his nose one time while on a swing. His words shortly thereafter were this, “When I get back on the swing . . .” –He had not fear. He wasn’t concerned or controlled by past situations or circumstances. He only knew that he wanted to get back on the swing.
There are many people who don’t feel they can praise God the way they once did or the way they want to, because the memory of a past hurt or the idea of looking like a fool keeps them in chains.
“The motion of our praise must be like the motion of our pulse, which beats as long as life lasts” (Thomas Watson).
*When God’s House is in order and He is able to do what He desires, there is nothing that can’t be accomplished. God longs to dwell in His House.