Day 6: Jesus Clears the Temple
Mark 11:15-19 (ESV)
And they came to Jerusalem. And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold and those who bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. And he would not allow anyone to carry anything through the temple. And he was teaching them and saying to them, “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations’? But you have made it a den of robbers.” And the chief priests and the scribes heard it and were seeking a way to destroy him, for they feared him, because all the crowd was astonished at his teaching. And when evening came they went out of the city.
I have preached about this story many times. There are so many lessons to learn from this passage of Scripture. When Jesus did this the first time, early in the gospels, that it perhaps was the first miracle – but it was not. Jesus, full of righteous anger and a tremendous amount of courage, stormed the temple holding 15,000 to 25,000 people and emptied the place! It would be like you or me storming Dodger Stadium and clearing house! His anger was intense because God’s word in Isaiah 56:7 says, “for my house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples,” and people were taking advantage of and making a profit off of the foreigners who were coming to the temple to worship.
Have you ever experienced this type of righteous anger?
I did – just the other day. A man, who is “muscle” for the local gangs, was teaching another man in our Mission lobby how to collect money from girls on the streets but using the foulest of language to describe the girls. I turned in a bit of shock and said, “You can’t talk like that in here!” He retorted, “I have a 1st amendment right to talk to my friend!” I said, “Maybe out on the street, but not here!” And I proceeded to chase him and his friend out the front door, as he threatened my life in a very crude manner. I do not think I have ever been angrier in my entire life.
What do you have righteous anger about? How could you enlist that righteous anger into positive action today?
Rev. Andy Bales
President/CEO of Union Rescue Mission