I am so thankful that God’s Word is living and active (Hebrews 4:12). We can read a passage of scripture over and over and still have new ways to apply it to our lives no matter what season of life we are in.
Recently, we have been hearing rats in our attic. We’ve put out bait and the dog after them, but still to no avail. Just a few weeks ago, I went up into our attic to get my fall decorations down and was met with something I wasn’t ready for. As I reached for the fall wreath box and grab the fall decoration box, my eyes fell onto a pile of stuffing and corn. Chewed and strung out everywhere was my Christmas draft dodger my mother had made for me years ago. I have always stored it in a container in the garage, but last year it did not fit back into the box as usual. So, I stuck it up in the garage attic and didn’t think anything of it. However, what made the dodger stand up was the amount of corn put into the bottom of it. This of course became the all you can eat buffet for the field mice around our house. You might be wondering what this has to do with the Gospel of Mark? Well, today’s passage will help point us towards the attics in our own hearts that God desires to turn over and clean out.
Jesus rode in on donkey as the crowd sang praises and welcomed Him. Oh how their hearts were covered with their own selfish desires for a king to deliver them from Rome. Jesus stops at the temple, looks around, and then takes the 12 to Bethany. What could have been going through Jesus’ mind as He looked around at the house of His Father?
After a good night’s sleep, Jesus wakes and heads back to the temple. He sees a fig tree that is not producing fruit and curses it. How odd it would have been for the disciples to see and hear Jesus curse this tree that was not even in season to bear fruit.
Once inside the temple, Jesus begins to throw out the people who are buying and selling. He turns over the money changers’ tables and the chairs of those selling doves (Mark 11:15). Jesus forbids people to carry goods through the temple complex (Mark 11:16).
Let us take a moment right here and remember where the temple of God is now. According to scripture, our bodies are the temples of God (1 Corinthians 6:19). If our bodies are the temples of God, then what does God need to throw out, turn over, and forbid us to carry into it?
A lot of us are content with just putting out bait (i.e. going to church, serving, etc.) and wait for the ugly things in our life to disappear. We are not willing to go in search of the problem. However, the real root of our sin will not be removed until we allow God to go into our attics, find the sin and remove it. Once the sin is removed we can then fill our hearts with prayer for all the nations.
Lord, help us to allow you to come and clean out our hearts. Help us not to put temporary solutions on our hearts, but to truly allow you to do the house cleaning you need to. Make your temples houses of prayer.