Reading with the Pastor
Mark 11 and Psalm 46
“Open my eyes that I might see wonderful things in Your word” (Psalm 119:18).
The Temple was to be a house of prayer but in Jesus time it had been turned into a “robber’s den” (Mark 11:17). Here was a specially set aside and sacred place that was supposed to be devoted to the people of God crying out to God. They were supposed to bring their hearts and concerns and pour them out before the altar of God. Everything in the Temple was designed to communicate the holiness of God and the transcendence of God. Everything was designed to help the worshipper understand their need for God and to give them encouragement to seek His face.
But all of that had been turned upside down by the extortionistic sale of doves and lambs inside the Temple mount. So Jesus cleansed the Temple. He let them have it.
- He cast out those who were buying and selling. (vs. 15)
- He overturned the tables of the money changers.
- He scattered the seats of the ones selling doves.
- He wouldn’t let anyone carry goods through the temple. (vs. 16)
- Demonstrating a mastery of the prophet Isaiah and Jeremiah, he called them all to account for their abuses. (vs. 17)
“The chief priests and the scribes . . . began to seeking how to destroy Him” (vs. 18)
A Couple of Thoughts:
- It seems like today, everybody in the culture, Christians and non-Christians alike, want to tame down Jesus, to domesticate Him and make Him “safe” and harmless. I don’t think it is possible to do if we truly read and meditate on the Scripture.
- It is possible to, “be angry and not sin” (Ephesians 4:26).
- We should get angry when the ways and will of God are manipulated away from their intended purpose.
- Doing the right thing doesn’t mean that everyone will be equally pleased with us.
- Better to be found pleasing God than going along with the status quo.
Psalm 46 is a Psalm that rings with confidence in the greatness of God. It is a psalm built on the certainty of God’s character and faithfulness, His power and holiness. Below is a reflection to another poem in the “Poetry Project” from two years ago. I hope it encourages your heart to trust Him.