God’s Temple Is A House Of Prayer

God’s Temple Is A House Of Prayer

March 3, 2024

Readings: Exodus 20:1-17
Romans 7:13-25
John 2:13-22

3rd Sunday of Lent 2024

The Season of Lent should challenge us to face Christ and bring honor and glory to Him. Malachi 3:2 “But who can endure the day of his coming? Who can stand when he appears? For he will be like a refiner’s fire or a launderer’s soap.” The awesomeness of Christ shows us His power and ability. In Jewish tradition, it was an obligation for every male Jew who live within 15 miles of Jerusalem to attend the Passover. It was an important event because it signified the children of Israel being taken out of Egypt, out of 400 years of slavery and were given all the wealth of Egypt. Passover should mean that the people should no longer live in fear and anxiety. Today, many of us are still living in fear and anxiety even if we have already been set free by Christ.

In today’s Gospel, we see Jesus going to Jerusalem to attend the Passover with His disciples. When He reached the temple, He discovered people selling oxen, sheep and doves and there were money changers as well. He was upset, made a whip of cords and drove them out of the temple. He also overturned the tables of the money changers and threw the money on the floor. He told them, “Do not make My Father’s House a house of merchandise!” Psalm 69:9 “For zeal for your house consumes me, and the insults of those who insult you fall on me.” It is very possible that it was this time when the Jews were beginning to plot against Him. In the Temple, they were selling oxen, money changers were taking advantage of those who had traveled far and for days and were extracting money from them. Every male over 19 was required to pay temple taxes. They were desecrating the temple, charging the travelers with higher prices when they were buying the oxen as sacrifices, and changing their money for temple taxes. Jesus was upset when He saw all this and drove them out. Then the Jews questioned Him saying, what right does He have to do this. And Jesus’ response was, “destroy the temple, and I will rebuild it in three days.”

This speaks strongly to the Church today. We are supposed to be a blessing. And yet, we charge people for Baptism, there are fees involved when there are marriages and even for wakes and funerals. The Temple is supposed to be a House of Prayer for all the nations. 1 Corinthians 3:16 “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?”

Our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. We should bring praise and honor to God. The Temple is for worship. There must be the reverence for the House of God. Worship without reverence is a terrible thing. There is the necessity for preparation. When we come to church, we should have the expectation of what we are to be thankful for.

Christ is cleansing the temple, just as He has cleansed us from our sins and weaknesses. We have been given hope in Christ. We have been given peace and joy. We have an obligation to take care of the temple, to make it holy. We are to be like Christ and God has given us the Holy Spirit to be strengthened.


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