Crosspoint Church | Georgetown, TX

Holy Week Devotions: Monday

Devotions this week will touch on an event which took place on this day of Holy Week.

Palm Sunday Message: Lead Me to the Cross…Follow the Donkey…Find the Cross!

WATCH Full Sunday message

Imagine if you came home from a vacation and found a number of people you didn’t know had moved in and were selling drugs out of your home.  You’d be furious. Perhaps today you would call the police, but no one would blame you for being angry and upset and forcibly making the squatters leave.  Your house was not a drug house.  Period.

Monday of Holy Week, we find Jesus returning to the temple area where he had briefly looked around after his triumphal entry the day before.  What he saw in the temple disturbed him greatly.  Crooks had moved into his house.

Mark 11:15 On reaching Jerusalem, Jesus entered the temple area and began driving out those who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves, 16 and would not allow anyone to carry merchandise through the temple courts. 17 And as he taught them, he said, “Is it not written:

“ ‘My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations’?

But you have made it ‘a den of robbers.’”

Selling and buying doves or other animals for sacrifice wasn’t necessarily the issue.  This practice of greeting temple visitors with an opportunity to exchange their money into the local currency or to purchase what they needed for the temple sacrifice was not abnormal.  The issue was it was being done IN the temple and a symptom of the reality people had lost perspective on the purpose of the temple.

For those Jesus directly addressed they had turned the temple into a business not a place of prayer.  For those that were coming the money changers and sellers of sacrificial animals made it easy for individuals to “check the box” of their temple obligation.

The temple wasn’t established simply to go through the motions of ritual, it was a place where God desired to connect with his people.  The purpose of the rituals of the temple were to develop a relationship with the Lord.  The Lord didn’t want the motions, he wanted the heart.

Hosea 6:6 For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings.

The fact that the temple area had been turned simply into a place of commerce indicated that people’s heart connection with the Lord had been replaced by either empty ritual or greedy gain.

Jesus clearing of the temple is a strong reminder of how much Jesus is and always has been interested in a relationship with people not just ritual from people.  He desires the places where we come to worship to be about worship of the Lord, not serving of self.

Jesus came to Jerusalem to carry out his work to win the hearts of the people and fill them with faith, hope and forgiveness.  The overturning of the money changers tables got the attention of the people so he might capture the hearts of people.

Apply: What “tables” does Jesus need to turn over in our heart that are creating a barrier to our relationship with the Lord?  What rituals are getting in the way of your relationship with the Lord that if changed or removed would free up your heart to connect with the Lord?

Prayer: Lord, always remind us that our heart matters more than our ritual.  Let all our rituals of worship be tools to connect our hearts with you.  AMEN.

our mission: Grow With Purpose - Go With Passion