John 2:13-25 — “Jesus Clears the Temple Courts”
Worship is something that God takes very seriously. We see throughout much of the Old Testament God’s specific directions on how His people are to engage in a relationship of worship with Him. He stresses over and over again how worship is to be pure and undefiled. So then, what happens when the religious leaders, the ones who are supposed to be leading the people in proper worship of God, turn the holy place of worship into a “house of thieves”?
Well, in John 2:13-25 we see just that.
This story takes place during Passover, which is an incredibly significant time for the Jews, God’s chosen people. It was a time dedicated to this pure, undefiled worship of God. Jews would travel hundreds of miles to the temple in Jerusalem to partake in the week’s events. During Passover, the temple courts should be filled with beautiful offerings of worshipful repentance, but instead, Jesus finds people trying to make money off of this sacred occasion.
Jesus is not pleased with what He sees taking place in His Father’s house– like overturning-tables not pleased. But Jesus can’t get angry, right? Well, in this moment Jesus was filled with righteous anger driven by a zeal for the holiness of God. It turns out the religious leaders and money changers were taking advantage of those who had come to worship and were actually robbing them of their money. They had turned the house of God into a house of thieves. Now, Jesus showed endless grace to the masses but one thing He would not allow is the defilement of the worship of God. So He puts an end to it.
I think oftentimes we are tempted to think little of the worship of the one true God. We can easily take it for granted and can even turn into an opportunity to be more self-centered than God centered. We look to see what we can get out of it rather than looking for what we can return back to God. We may not be robbing people of things that belong to them, but we can certainly rob God of the things that belong to God.
Like Jesus, let us be zealous for pure, undefiled worship of God, and drive out anything that gets in the way.
In what ways do you focus on yourself instead of God during worship?
What is a practical way that you can drive out anything that gets in the way of undefiled worship?
What are your favorite ways to worship your King?
By Chris Willett | Springville, UT