Cleansing the Temple • Devotion #6: Be Angry and Sin Not!

Have you ever been angry with someone or something, but you did not sin? It is easier said than done considering the wickedness of our flesh. I am pretty sure I fail at this 100% of the time. God never gives us a command that we cannot obey, but we will only succeed by the power of the Holy Spirit. Matthew, Mark, and Luke share eyewitness accounts of Jesus cleansing the Temple for the Passover celebration. At first glance, it can be confusing to learn that Jesus became angry and overthrew the table of the money-changers. As we look closer, we realize that Jesus became righteously angry because the people who were exchanging the currency were literally making a profit by overcharging the faithful foreigners. Interestingly, this is not the first time Jesus encountered this type of situation. The first time is found in John 2:13-17 at the beginning of His earthly ministry. It took place right after the wedding at Cana and before His encounter with the Samaritan Woman. It is interesting to note that Matthew, Mark, and Luke record this account for the second time, but this was at the end of Jesus’ earthly ministry. It was also the beginning of the week He would be crucified and risen from the dead. Matthew 21:12-13 (KJV) says, “And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves, And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.”

The issue was not about a building. It was about people spending time with God. It was more about their attitudes than their actions.

The Old Testament Temple was a very important and sacred part of the Jewish culture. It is still very sacred and held to the letter of Jewish Law in Orthodox Judaism. Today on this side of the cross, as believers in Jesus we are no longer held to the Law but are now under grace. Unfortunately, many churchgoers treat the church building as a sacred place much like the Israelites. The difference being the Jewish people were given strict instructions from God Himself. Today, we operate by our preferences. Many churchgoers believe the church building is the place God resides and must be treated a certain way. I agree to a point, but there have been church splits over issues God never deemed important. People get angry over pews or chairs? Steeple or no steeple? Hymns or worship music? Okay, you get the point. What matters to God should matter to you!

In 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, we read, “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So, glorify God in your body.”

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