Transferring notes from my old Bible to my new one has been exciting because I've found notes and reminders that I don't think about much or had forgotten I'd written. Today I was transferring Jeremiah notes and a section in chapter 7 really struck me again. The Lord through Jeremiah says this: "Do not trust in these deceptive words: 'This is the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord'...Has this house, which is called by my name, become a den of robbers in your eyes? Behold, I myself have seen it, declares the Lord....And now, because you have done all these things, declares the Lord...I will do to the house that is called by my name and in which you trust, and to the place that I gave to you and to your fathers, as I did to Shiloh. And I will cast you out of my sight...."
I'm guessing you probably feel a little uncomfortable just like I did when I read that. Because we may not have a physical building that we call a temple today, but according to the New Testament I am a temple. So are you. God's dwelling place on earth.
Now to tie that verse into Luke 19, where Jesus quotes it. He's just come to Jerusalem and made His triumphal entry. Since His disciples were expecting Him to take over the rule from the Romans and start an earthly kingdom, His actions during these few days would have been shock after shock to their ideals and systems. He comes in not on a great chariot or having built up an army, but on a random colt. No saddle, but with cloaks on it. To the Pharisees, this "imposter" coming in and being praised as King while riding on a donkey would have been rather offensive (not the first time they've been upset, of course.) But then instead of riding in and taking over the rule of the city, Jesus goes straight to the heart of Jewish religion: the temple. He drives out the sellers and overturns tables and calls them out for being mercenaries in the house of God. What. I think if we're honest with ourselves, we can pretty easily put ourselves in the position of the Pharisees and Jewish leaders at this time. Jesus' reign was not what they expected or wanted, and really, many times Jesus' reign isn't what we expect or want either. We want Him to fix all the problems in the world around us, but what he wants is to cleanse the temple. We want Him to get us a president with a Godly agenda, and He wants us to stop choosing money over Him. We want Him to come into the world and get rid of all the sinners and teach them a lesson, He comes in with His word and goes straight to our hearts, telling us to get the log out of our own eyes before we try to get the speck out of someone elses. He teaches a clean temple and a future Kingdom, not a perfect world and a Christian "comfort zone." Christ entered the city and went to the LAST place they expected Him to be dissatisfied with--their religious center.
If Christ came today, would He feel compelled to go straight to your temple and overturn tables? Would you be surprised at that? Is His reign over your HEART what you really want and look for? Or are you telling yourself that "This is the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord" and allowing yourself to assume that God is in your heart when He isn't?
Today, pray that you'll be willing to accept that letting Christ reign over you and your heart may be uncomfortable. Look inside yourself. "Don't assume you're good soil." (Crazy Love) Make sure your heart is tender, open, not being overtaken by thorns and moneychangers. If your heart has been, allow Christ to overturn those tables and cut down the thorns now, before it's too late, and while you still have time to cleanse His temple.