Read: Mark 11:10-19
Jesus is literally being hunted down by the Leaders. He has ducked behind corners and tried hiding from them to avoid capture for months… until now. Yesterday he marched into Jerusalem to shouts of “HOSANNA!” (meaning, “S AVE US NOW!”). Today He has returned to the City after a two-mile walk from Bethany and invaded the Temple: the heart of the Jewish Religious System. Notice Jesus’ bravery and determination. He knows he’s hunted. He knows today’s actions will only turn up the heat, but He pushes in anyway. He is intentional. He is brave. Why? Perhaps it was because the Leaders had complicated people’s relationship with God.
Instead of the Temple being a place of honest prayer and worship of God, they had converted it into a means of profit-making. They were more interested in their own gain and performance than a relationship with God. They polluted the simple relationship of God with people. This infuriated Jesus. He took up a whip to deconstruct this distortion of God.
As you read the passage consider:
1. Jesus’ cleaning the Temple was not about Him losing his temper; it was a calculated action. So, what does this say about His desire for people and God to have relationship?
2. In what ways have you complicated your relationship with God – making it something that He did not intend? What have you added or taken away?
In what ways do you allow other people to complicate your relationship with God?
3. Get together with someone you trust and talk about what you may need to “clean out” of your life to get back to what God wants.