Daily Devotionals

Trouble Maker Week 8: Wednesday

He said to them, “The Scriptures declare, ‘My Temple will be a house of prayer,’ but you have turned it into a den of thieves.” Luke 19:46

I have been thinking a lot about the word home lately. This idea of home is a fascinating concept to think about, and while it can be defined in many different ways, the concept of home, I think all of us would agree, is a sacred place for every person. That is why when we are in someone else’s home, we are careful to take our shoes off if requested, use a coaster, and clean up our place if we share a meal with them. Likewise, we would not take kindly if someone came over and disrespected our homes. Jesus understood this, too. You see, when the temple, which He referred to as His house, was completely disrespected, He corrected the disrespectful behavior that He was observing. 

Jesus walked into the temple during the last week of His life and was appalled by what was happening. He saw people selling animals to sacrifice. Now, there were two reasons why Jesus was likely appalled by what He saw. Jesus was likely angry because people were selling these animals to be sacrificed for a profit and likely hiking up the prices. They were profiting from people’s need to sacrifice and make things right with God. The second reason why Jesus was likely angry by what was happening in the temple that day is that the place where these animals were being sold was the only place where Gentiles, or non-Jewish people, were allowed to worship God in the temple. By selling animals there, they were blocking off the only place where Gentiles could worship. As a result of what was happening in the temple that day, Jesus “drove out the people selling animals for sacrifices” (verse 45). He then said, “The Scriptures declare, ‘My temple will be a house of prayer,’ but you have turned it into a den of thieves” (verse 46). Jesus was very clear. There was to be no disrespect in His temple.

We do not read about Jesus being angry very often, and this moment in Scripture gives us a clear idea of what made Him angry: anyone standing in the way of people coming to God. I am certain that this still makes Him angry today. After all, Christ wants every person to turn to Him. So may you and I do everything we can to bring people to Him and protect the sacred space of His home. The church must be where the lost and broken are welcomed and loved.

Moving toward action

Our call today is to live our lives in such a way that we bring honor and respect to God. One of the best ways to honor God is to invite others to come to church with us. Who is that friend you have been praying for who is far from Christ? Reach out to them today and invite them to join one of our services with you this weekend.

Going Deeper

Luke 19:45-48 (NLT)

"When Jesus entered the temple courts, he began to drive out those who were selling. 46 “It is written,” he said to them, “‘My house will be a house of prayer'; but you have made it ‘a den of robbers.’”

47 Every day he was teaching at the temple. But the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the leaders among the people were trying to kill him. 48 Yet they could not find any way to do it, because all the people hung on his words."