Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Oops, Monday a bit late

On Monday Jesus caused an uproar in the city of Jerusalem when He entered the Temple and found there were money-changers and swindlers and corruption. With righteous anger He threw them out and in a fit of rage took a whip to them. Did Jesus wake up on the wrong side of the bed or did He have a good reason to do this?
We see in the Scripture that Jesus' anger was based on the fact that the sacred place of God had been turned into a cheap marketplace where people were profiting off the need for sacrifices. These people took advantage of the religious sensitivities of the people, and made a fortune extorting their hard-earned money. Jesus' fury directed at them was righteous and just, He did not lose His temper and sin in His anger. There is a time in the Christian life for there to be "righteous anger" and it is an anger towards the things God hates. Anger is a passionate response and can be very valuable, when used in the right circumstances. Jesus was not stressed out and taking out His frustration on those around Him, He was right to be appalled at what was going on in the Temple. It was a sacred place where God Himself dwelt, and these people had cheapened it.
Jesus' entry into Jerusalem as the coming King had already caused enough discussion/trouble in the city, but His actions in the Temple definitely got people talking about Him and it caused people to pay attention to everything He did.
What does this mean for us? It means that we have to keep the place of God in our lives sacred, and keep that place free from the stain of corruption and greed. It means that we have reverence when we are in the presence of God. Not to draw comparisons to the Temple and the Church, but where has our reverence for the things of God gone these days? You go to a church now and it looks like a theater, and many times in churches we have gotten to where we look like a mini-city with activities and so much going on that we get lost in the shuffle. This is not an indictment against churches being active and busy, but it all has to come back to a reverence and fear of the Lord and a desire to keep His House clean from the filth of the world that would tell us to build bigger, have fancier stuff, and keep up with the Jones' down the street. God desires His house to be a house of prayer, which is what we are working towards at Broadmoor. We are far from perfect, but in keeping with the command of Jesus, we desire for God to be pleased with how we conduct ourselves and the attitude we have in church. Please keep the dwelling place of God clean in your lives, which is your heart. Don't let it get dirty and corrupt, may we never be guilty of corrupting the worship of the people for personal gain.

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