Then they came to Jerusalem. And he (Jesus) entered the temple and began to drive out those who were selling and those who were buying in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves… He was teaching and saying, “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations’? But you have made it a den of robbers.” (Mark 11:15-17, NRSV)
Let me make this very clear… Jesus is very angry here.
Why? And was it justified? Buying, selling, and commerce was going on in the Temple courts. Most likely its purpose was to provide religious pilgrims with appropriate animal sacrifices for their Temple worship and Jewish currency for their Temple offerings… a convenience for Jerusalem’s out of town guests.
The commercial activities were taking place on the Temple grounds. It was taking up the space meant for worship and prayer… for the people to meet and connect with God and for God to connect with them and change their lives.
Pastor and writer Peter Scazzero writes, “Jesus knows that if we don’t get to God, invaluable treasures will be lost or obscured. We lose the space where we experience God’s unfailing love and amazing forgiveness. We lose an eternal perspective on what is important and what is not. We lose compassion. We gain the world but lose our souls."
It’s no wonder Jesus was so angry! And I humbly suggest that you should be too.
What takes up the time and space in your life needed for you to connect with God in prayer, Scripture, worship, and just being still enough to know God and be known by God? Clear it out to regain the time and space you need with God.