Derek Smith 

Lead Pastor 

Mark 11:15-17 

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.”

It’s Easter week, and today is Holy Monday. This is the day when Christ cursed the fig tree in a symbolic sign of judgment on corrupt Judaism, and the day when he cleansed the Temple by running out those who were selling sacrifices to the people. At first glance this seems like the righteous anger of Jesus responding to vendors taking advantage of the people, and that is a part of the story. However, it carries a much deeper meaning. In His statement about His house being called a house of prayer for the nations and it becoming a den of thieves, Jesus is quoting Isaiah 56 and Jeremiah 7. Isaiah 56 is a passage about the inclusion of the Gentiles in Temple worship in the last days when the Messiah comes again, and Jeremiah 7 is a word of judgment against the corruption of the Temple and the worship of the Hebrew people. In one sentence Jesus makes the prophetic statement that the Messiah is here, His salvation is for every nation, the destruction of the Temple is coming, and it is time to clean the house. The lesson for us today is that it is time for some spring cleaning. Just as Jesus calls them to a pure faith, so too it is time for us to purify our hearts. In preparation for Good Friday and Easter Sunday, God is calling us to clean out every room of our heart and rid our lives of the sin we like to tuck away. What is sitting in the closet of your heart that needs to be thrown out? What thoughts, attitudes, words, or actions in the corner of the garage of your soul need to be taken to the spiritual dump? The good news is we serve a God of grace who wants to forgive us and cleanse us, all we have to do is confess sin and bring it to Him. God’s Temple is no longer a physical place where His people worship, it is in the hearts of His people. We are the Temple of God, so today let’s run out the corrupt influences, clean the house, and worship Jesus with a pure and unified heart.