In the Word
by Chuck Livermore
Often when we think of cleansing the temple in a modern sense, we think of overturning the guest musician’s cd table in hallway outside the sanctuary or pouring out the urns at the donation only coffee bar in the fellowship hall. But Jesus wasn’t against commerce. He wasn’t advocating a barter-only society. Jesus wanted to cleanse all greed and worldly desires from the place that was God’s dwelling.
Church buildings do not take the place of the temple in the New Testament. What takes its place is our bodies. The Spirit inhabits our bodies. “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?” 1 Corinthians 6:19NKJV. A better application of this passage would be cleansing the sin that dwells inside us. It is not selling books in a church that should upset a modern-day Jesus, it is the sin that we tolerate among God’s holy people.
The next time you feel that a good temple cleaning is in order, don’t start whipping the Boy Scouts selling popcorn in the foyer; start by driving out the greed and lust in your own heart.
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