March 21, 2016: Confronting
Then he entered the temple… (v. 45)
After Palm Sunday’s triumphal entry, Jesus entered the temple and drove out the money changers. Why did he do this? The layout of the temple itself provides an interesting clue. The temple stood proudly on an enormous platform cantilevered over Mount Moriah on the edge of the Kidron Valley. It stretched 200 yards from east to west, and 300 yards from north to south. A series of courts surrounded the Holy of Holies, the innermost chamber of the temple: the Priest’s Court, the Court of Israel, the Court of Women, and finally the Court of the Gentiles. The Court of the Gentiles was several times larger than all the other courts combined, and its size is a commentary on the heart and purposes of God. The living God longs for the nations to stream into his presence!
The money-changers were encroaching on the sacred space God had envisioned for the nations. If they changed money in the Court of the Gentiles, where would the gentiles go to seek God? So much more could be said about this occasion in the life of Jesus, but perhaps it should lead us now to one pointed question: What must the Lord confront in our lives that is blocking the way for the world to come to him?
Prayer: Overturn anything in our lives that keeps the nations from coming to you, O God!
Today’s devotional was written by Tim Brown, president and Henry Bast professor of preaching at Western Theological Seminary. This Lenten series comes from Words of Hope, whose mission is to build the church in the hard places through media. To learn more about the organization or subscribe to Words of Hope’s daily devotions, visit www.woh.org.