April 11 (Holy Monday): A Den Of Thieves

April 11 (Holy Monday): A Den Of Thieves

Picture of Chris Rowekamp

Chris Rowekamp

“Jesus entered the Temple and began to drive out all the people buying and selling animals for sacrifice. He knocked over the tables of the money changers and the chairs of those selling doves. He said to them, ‘The Scriptures declare, “My Temple will be called a house of prayer,” but you have turned it into a den of thieves!’”
—Matthew 21:12-13 NLT

The day after his “triumphal entry” into Jerusalem, Jesus returned to the city to visit the temple.

When he arrived, he violently drove out the people who had turned religion into a business.

Under the Jewish customs of the time, people worshiped God by offering him animal sacrifices. Unfortunately, there were people who took advantage of those who possessed neither land nor livestock and sold them animals for sacrifice at unjustly high prices.

Instead of being a blessing to the world, God’s house had become a den of thieves.

What can we learn from this?

At a very basic level, the people selling animals in the Temple were no longer trying to help others worship God but were only interested in what they could get out of other people (in this case, money).

If we’re not careful, this thinking can lead us to see other people as opportunities to advance our own agenda instead of precious individuals that God has placed in our life to serve.

When we interact with others, may our first reaction be to ask ourselves, “How can I show them God’s love?” and not “What can I get from them?”

Here is a simple thought to carry with you today:

Inhale: Lord,
Exhale: Help me be generous with your love.

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