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Lenten Devotions: House Cleaning

by | Mar 19, 2023 | Lenten Devotions, New Life

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. He said to them, ‘It is written, “My house shall be called a house of prayer,” but you make it a den of robbers.’ And the blind and the lame came to Him in the temple, and He healed them. But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that He did, and the children crying out in the temple, ‘Hosanna to the Son of David!’ they were indignant.” (Matthew 21:12-15 ESV)

This is a decisive moment. Jesus’ enemies have long been looking for a way to get rid of Him. But when He cleans out the temple they have turned into a marketplace, He attacks them on what they think of as their own ground.

It isn’t, of course. It is God’s house, and God has every right to say what is done in it. And clearly God prefers the blind, the lame, and small children over cheating merchants. Wouldn’t you?

So Jesus cleans house. And His enemies will kill Him for it this same week.

But they don’t realize that Jesus’ suffering and death will cleanse more than just the temple. By laying down His life, Jesus will cleanse the hearts of God’s people—my heart and yours. He will throw out the evil that has lived there far too long, and replace it with healing, teaching, and praise. What we cannot do, Jesus does for us—making us the clean temple of God.

Prayer: Lord, make me clean and live in me. Amen.

Reflection Questions:
* Would you be able to worship with an animal market going on beside you?
* What are some modern ways people abuse the worship of God?
* What is the place of small children in worship? Why?

Lenten Devotions were written by Dr. Kari Vo
Originally published in The Lutheran Hour on March 13, 2023
Used by permission from International Lutheran Laymen’s League, all rights reserved