Day 2 of 2 Weeks 2 the Cross: Mark 11:15-19
They came to Jerusalem, and He went into the temple complex and began to throw out those buying and selling in the temple. He overturned the money changers’ tables and the chairs of those selling doves, and would not permit anyone to carry goods through the temple complex.
Then He began to teach them: “Is it not written, My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations? But you have made it a den of thieves!” Then the chief priests and the scribes heard it and started looking for a way to destroy Him. For they were afraid of Him, because the whole crowd was astonished by His teaching.
And whenever evening came, they would go out of the city.
What struck me most about this passage of Scripture wasn’t necessarily Jesus’ actions, it was His motivation. He tells the crowds why He had just turned the Temple on its head: God’s house, HIS house, was supposed to be a house of prayer for all people. Instead it had become a den of thieves.
As we were discussing these words of Jesus, we quickly made up hand motions to help reinforce Jesus’ point. Here are Jackson and Lauren reciting:
Then, it was time to make this account come alive. We set up chairs in the living room for the kids to overturn, and spread Monopoly money around our makeshift Temple for them to find, collect and remove. (There is something completely satisfying and thrilling about throwing a stack of bills into the air and watching them float like confetti to the ground! :))
We replayed this scenario many times, each child clearing the temple so it could be a house of prayer instead of a den of thieves. We became more and more creative with our spread of money in the temple each time, until Matt put all the bills on the blades of our ceiling fan and the kids shrieked with glee running through the falling money. And, each time they collected all the pieces to make God’s house one of prayer.
In other places in Scripture, God calls our bodies His temple. We also spent time as a family praying together, so our hearts and our lives and our home would be God’s house of prayer rather than a den of thieves.
As people who believe in Jesus and trust Him for our salvation, our lives must be full of prayer, of true worship to our God. When I disobey Him and begin to do life the way I want instead of how God wants, I am robbing Him. How often am I the thief in my relationship with God, putting my busyness in the way of spending time with Him in prayer? In Jesus’ last week before His crucifixion, one of His priorities was clearing the Temple to what it should be, a house of prayer for all nations. May that also be our priority today!