The first thing Jesus does after entering Jerusalem is to clear out the Temple. And when He clears it out, He doesn’t mess around! We are not used to seeing Jesus angry yet in this story He flips tables, cracks a whip, and yells at people. Why?
Because people—maybe even otherwise good people—were taking advantage of others. People came to Jerusalem from far away places to celebrate Passover. They came to the Temple to offer their sacrifices. Somebody at some point got the idea to turn that into a business model: “Need an animal to sacrifice? Look no further!”
That makes Jesus angry. Especially if, as I have heard from others who are way smarter than I am, it was the poor who were being preyed upon in this endeavor. The Temple is not a place to make a buck off of people, especially people who are in need. The Temple is the place where people come to pray and to worship.
So now there is not one Temple, such as there was back then. Part of the blessing of Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection is that all who believe in Him are filled with the Holy Spirit. We are filled with the presence of God. The Temple, the place where God meets with His people, is now in each of us. I am one of billions of temples all over the world.
Which means I have been given a great opportunity and a great responsibility.
The opportunity is that everywhere I go I can bring the presence of Jesus. My words and my actions can be the manifestation of God living in and through me.
The responsibility is that everything I say and do is a reflection to the world of who God is. So if I turn this temple into a den of robbers, people will see that. They will be left to ask, “This is what it means to be a follower of Jesus? Why would I want that?” Yet when I live the life of love Jesus called His followers to, God is honored.
What does Jesus need to drive out of the temple that is me? How am I hurting others by my words or actions? Is my life filled with prayer?
When Jesus enters this temple, it is my desire that He find Himself at home.