"And they come to Jerusalem: and Jesus went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves" (Mark 11:15).
Housecleaning is a necessary part of housekeeping. It takes effort to preserve a place for its proper service. No one likes to live or work in a place that is dirty, run down, or filled with inappropriate clutter. Jesus was no different when it came to His Father's house. In Mark 11:11 we read that Jesus came "into Jerusalem, and into the temple" to see the condition of things, and returned to Bethany with His twelve disciples to spend the night. The next day, He returned to the temple and, in short, He routed them out! Then He taught them why this should be: "Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer? but ye have made it a den of thieves" (v.17), quoting from Jeremiah 7:11.
Sacrifices were a part of each Jew's religious practice. But, instead of selecting an acceptable sheep from the flock or acquiring an acceptable bird to offer as a sacrifice as specified in the Mosaic law, it had become convenient to come empty handed and buy a token gift from the profiteering merchants at the Temple. But God knew what was happening! "Behold, even I have seen it, saith the Lord" (Jeremiah 7:11). "And now, because ye have done all these works, saith the Lord, and I spake unto you, rising up early and speaking, but ye heard not; and I called you, but ye answered not; . . . And I will cast you out of my sight" (vv.13,15).
Since we ourselves are the temple today, we need to clean house now and then. Get rid of the attitudes and behaviors that make our temples unfit as a place of prayer and communion with God. We bring all kinds of trash into the sanctity of our meeting place with God and expect to hear from Him, but "He will not hear" (Isaiah 59:2). KBC