House of Prayer or Den of Robbers


12 And Jesus entered the temple and drove out all who sold and bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money- changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. 13 He said to them, It is written, My house shall be called a house of prayer, but you make it a den of robbers.

As I read these words from Matthew 21 this morning, I began to think of the implications for us today.

We know that brick and mortar buildings have no eternal worth, and while arguments can be made for creating “sacred space” for the people of God, this passage doesn’t forbid fundraisers on church campuses.

Both our individual bodies (1 Cor 6:19) and the church corporately (Eph. 2:20) are called the temple of God. This side of the resurrection, the temple has become the people of God.

God’s house, is made up of those who put their faith in Christ alone for salvation.

We are the temple of God.

So the question that came to mind as I read this passage was, “am I a house of prayer or a den of robbers? Are we a house of prayer or a den of robbers?”

Is my life marked by an unmistakable dependence on the power of God or am I constantly laying myself down in front of the idols of lust, anger, family, success and leisure?

Are our churches known for being filled with a love that can only be explained as “like Jesus” or do we divide over issues of no earthly value. Is the love of Christ shown to us expressed among us and through us or do we consistently seek our own good and glory of others’ good and God’s glory?

A den of robbers is sadly how I often live. And if we’re honest, the church may be described this way as well. But that’s the beauty of what Jesus does. He does not allow His house to remain in this broken state. His zeal for His Father’s house (Ps. 69:9) is palpable and powerful, and He has sent His Spirit to bring about the cleansing of His new temple. He drives out our idols and overturns our secret stash of sinful pleasures.

He will make us a house of prayer, and we will be revealed as He is in glory, spotless and breathtakingly beautiful.

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