Prayer: O Jesus, I will put no obstacles to your purifying action.
Imagination: (Picture Jesus with his whip confronting the temple leaders.
All four gospels speak of this cleansing (therefore, it is an important event). John places it at the very beginning of Jesus’ public ministry and adds the important teaching that Jesus’ body is a temple which will be destroyed and rebuilt in three days.
Gospel text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud).
Since the Jewish Passover was near, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple, he found those who sold oxen and sheep and doves, together with the money-changers. He made a whip and drove out the sheep and the oxen. He overturned the tables of the money-changers.
He told those selling doves, “Take these away and do not make my Father’s house into a marketplace.” His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for your house consumes me.”
The Jews asked him, “What sign can you show us that authorizes you to do these things? Jesus answered, “Destroy this temple and in three days, I will raise it up”. The Jews said, “This temple took forty years to build, and you will raise it up in three days. “ Actually, he was talking about his body. When he was risen from the dead, his disciples remembered his words. They came to believe the scripture and the word that he spoke.
Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder those that attract you.)
- Jesus’ heart is sensitive to evil.
- Seeing the buying and selling fills him with anger.
- Because of these deep feelings, he takes immediate action.
- He thinks only of his heavenly Father, giving no notice to how others might feel.
- Overturning the tables and scattering the money symbolizes God destroying evildoers.
- When Jesus is challenged, he prophecies his own resurrection. This supplies all the authority he needs.
- These words mean so much to the disciples. By the Resurrection, they believe that Jesus is the Son of God.
Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)
- O Jesus, give me a sensitive heart.
- Heavenly Father, awaken me to your desires.
- Jesus, destroy all evil in the temple of my heart.
- Make me a holy, purified temple.
- Jesus, your rising from the dead gives you all authority.
- You are Lord. You are Saviour. You are the only-begotten Son of God.
Resolution: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)
- I will allow Jesus to cast out all evil – in my thoughts, words and deeds.
- I will proclaim the risen Jesus as Lord of my life.
Thought for the day: (To recall your meditation)
Destroy this temple and in three days, I will raise it up.