Marketplace in the Worship Place

Day 4 of Knowing Him: An Easter Devotional (view all days)

Jesus entered the temple area and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. ‘It is written,’ he said to them,’ ‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’ but you are making it a ‘den of robbers.'” (Matthew 21:1-12-13).

Jesus entered Jerusalem to begin the last week of his life on earth (sometimes called Passion week) with incredible drama. What must his disciples have thought? He rode down the hillside path with throngs of people shouting his praise, and then, approaching the beautiful temple on the other side of the valley, he entered its courts and “cleansed” the temple. Sheep scattered through the courtyard, doves flew out of broken cages, coins rang out as they scattered on the stone plaza, and there was Jesus in the middle of it all, driving away the merchants who saw the temple courtyard as a great place to cash in.

Now Jesus had no problem with the sacrificial system. It’s in the Old Testament, and the principle of sacrificial giving is part of the plan of God. But when the din of human activity drowns out the prayers of the people of God, then it has gone too far.

The temple as “the house of prayer” was to be a place where the worshiper was caught up with awe for the Almighty. It was a place where the people could have an encounter with their Father and Lord. The hubbub of institutionalized religiosity was a poor substitute. And so, Jesus entered Jerusalem at the start of that important week, and smashed everything that did not fit with God’s character.

Sometimes God can only build after he has torn down.

Ponder This: What part of your life might Jesus want to overturn, to cleanse, in order to start over?

[This daily devotional will appear through Easter. You may receive via email.]

45 thoughts on “Marketplace in the Worship Place”

  1. Donald L. Thompson

    I think anytime we let something be more important our worship of GOD it has become sin for us.
    It is wrong to shop or do other things on Sunday before going to church. I know somethings have
    to be done on Sunday but most things today could be put off. Donald Thompson

  2. He worked with me when I went by the way side and material things meant a great deal to me again. This time I really listened and realized what is good in my life and it is Him. I am still a work in progress but on a much better path. Day by day I love the feeling of Him being with me and guiding me. Thank you Lord for being with me all the time. Thank you for helping me realize that all I need is you.

  3. Joanna, child of God

    To find in yourself that which God finds unpleaseing, you must first know yourself. To do that you must find quiet in a world that is increasingly unquiet and busy. Finding time for intraspection must be a priority, but it is worth every second…….

  4. Shara Sagraves

    I just want to thank God and give him praise from every ounce of my body. When I’m tired and feel like it’s an never ending battle, he’s there to pick me up and give that small still voice and says “I love you and I’m not giving up on you”. There are many areas of my life that God is trying to put in order, I’ll just keep my eye on Jesus knowing he’s the one getting me through.

  5. My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from my cries of anguish?

    1. Javier – He is closer than you can know and there has never been a moment when he wasn’t near to your heart. I pray that you would find Him quickly and be surprised by the joy that results from seeing Him.

    1. That’s great that you want to rededicate your life to Jesus, friend. I hope that these days of “Knowing Him” better will help you to see how to do that. Just make sure you tell one or two other people in your life that it is your desire to do that rededication. We need the help of others.

  6. Donna Ladisheff

    I think that in some chuches, the selling of raffle tickets, event tickets etc gets out of hand….it detracts from the Worship…everyone is thinking about getting their tickets. This has bothered me for a long time….I did mention it to someone once but they didn’t grasp what I was trying to say. It really bothered my spirit.

  7. I am mindful of my self-centeredness, my pride and lack of humility, my dependence on me and the temporal. It has been a year of peeling away the layers of this onion. This devotional again speaks to me about God’s work in my life….a tearing down of me so He can create the building He wishes to make in me. Thank You, Lord.

  8. My personal relationship with a man I am seeing. I am trying very hard to be a true christian but I am very thankful for the role that the Lord has played in my life. He has revealed ways that I should follow to be true to him and I am working very hard to accomplish that. I know that I am a work in progress and I just want to thank God for every day He has given me and every opportunity to be truer to the sacrifice, His son Jesus Christ, made for me.

    1. Thank you for your honesty, Geo. Perhaps one of the most complicated things for us to do is to submit our relationships to Christ because it is not just we who are involved, but there are implications for others as well.

  9. I believe if Jesus is in your heart, your mind, and your home that our place of worship is for that purpose only, and if we are going to do something for our Church home and for different phases of that home we should respect what our Dear Father wanted us to use his Temple for Love of others,
    Help others that may need the help, and to earnestly know what our Church foundation is for.
    Let the Peace of Christ rule in our hearts, since as members one body you were called to peace and be thankful. Colosseans 3.

  10. Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everalasting. Amen and amen.

  11. Lincoln Trinidad

    I think Jesus wants to overturn my sexuality as a young man my mind is a corrupt in that area and I have not given it all to Jesus.

  12. I have gotten back into too much TV. I procrastinate a lot lately. Please pray for my recovery. I want my zeal back. Fire in the name of Jesus


  14. I think perhaps God would like to see me let go of hurt and betrayal and be filled with the joy that only comes from his spirit within us. I can closes my eyes and see him “clear the tables” and then sit with me and pray together. He wants my heart to be my temple of prayer filled with his spirit that he fills with his blessings and not the hurt of others of the past!

  15. I feel that God want me to leave things that I have no control over in His hands. I have been trying several times in the past, but I don’t always follow through.

  16. florante a. rosal.jr.

    I was really challenge how my life is being strucj with the message today, because if iu were to assess what is happening to me right now? sometimes doin, fleshy things that may cause terrible dirt on my face as a Christian, this is now to surrender to GOD, thank you for the Holy Spirit that always working in me whispering, wrestling over the other side, the enemy as i responded NO. It is always my prayer to GOD to help me counteract the enemy.
    However, I always qoute in the book of Corinthians, that it is common to man, however GOD is making way to be victorious. Thank you for this site that feed me as i start working in my office. It is my prayer that our brothers/sisters in faith will accessand meditate this daily. GOD bless.

  17. Josephraj Selvaraj

    Lord Jesus should help me to overcome irritation & Frustration. This is something which I always wanted to do, but I Hardly succeeded. I strongly feel that this keeps me away from HIM. Pray for me.

  18. i really want jesus to overturn my heart . it is out of the a abundance of my heart that my mouth speaks , i dis belief, disobey.
    my heart is the center of Christ’s interest i really want it to be his dwelling home with no bitterness, envy,jealousy, UN forgiveness, anger, hypocrisy, lust endless list. let it indeed be a house of prayer ,
    people we ought to pray that the churches we fellowship from stop being markets where people come to sell the word of God eg before you see the pastors you pay some money . this is wrong.

  19. That God would over turn my heart. If there is anything in my heart that would keep me form making heaven my home I want Him to take it out. The Bible say the heart is desperately wicked.

  20. He wants to overturn my fear and worry. My life seems like there has been one huge mountain to cross after another and God has always been there but he also has put people in my life to lean on during some of my greatest trials. i tend to lean to heavily on people instead of God and then when those people are removed I fall again and again and again. I am getting ready to fall again and it is extremely painful. Like the ripping of flesh.

  21. He (Jesus) would have quite a battle with Satan on his hands in my case. I have become so much accustomed to the lusts of the flesh. I try and try to redeem myself from these things, but fail again and again.

  22. I understand that it is impossible to start building in a dirty land. Land needs to be cleansed first and all the thrash taken away to start placing the foundations. The lord is turning my tables of my character, in my “I have the control” and anger driven attitudes, that are affecting my family, my testimony and my relationship with Him. I thank you Lord for turning my tables so violently that I know you have made me your temple, your dwelling place and that you are taking care of it, cleansing it.

  23. To think about the fact that Jesus put one step in front of the other daily, heading straight to the cross, for me is overwhelming. As you said, it wasn’t a spur of the moment, in the heat of the battle decision. It was a daily choice to walk the path towards the cross and lay down his life for me.
    Help me be worthy Father by directing my steps and my thoughts.,

    I feel that my biggest sin right now is the fact that I see you speaking to those around me, those I love, rather than applying it to myself. That old, take the plank out of your own eye before your can remove the spec from another! Every time I read something, I tend to think, “yeah, he sure needs to do this!”. That is wrong. I need to be in charge of myself, and myself alone.
    Lord, please help me look inward when your word speaks and ask God’s will for MY life. And then pray about it affecting others in your perfect will.
    Thank you Father for helping me identify this mess in your holy temple.

  24. My time with Him. I know in my mind that when I spend time reading the bible and praying in the morning my day goes sooo much better. I am able to plan better and get everything done without the stress. Not to mention, I’m in a much better mood, feeling at peace and loved. This is why I joined this devotional. Even though I have experienced this, I still have the most difficult time prioritizing the Lord in my life.

  25. Thank you. This is such a blessing to always keep The House of God The Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus a house of prayer, praise, & worship.
    “Jesus entered the temple area and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. ‘It is written,’ he said to them,’ ‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’ but you are making it a ‘den of robbers.’” (Matthew 21:1-12-13).

  26. This was a situation to make me realize (again) how important worship is: singing, rejoycing with my heart. So often I get into the music and praise because I love the music. You made me think of how I sometimes get more from the music than I give to the Lord.

  27. I’m a work in progress and He is tearing me down and building me up in His image. I welcome His intervention.

  28. We are that temple also and should treat it as such. We cannot succed without the help of our Lord and the help of the Holy Spirit. We must put our focus on Him and follow the path He has set before us.
    Give us yhe strength to give GOD all praise glory and honor each day.
    Amen Amen

  29. I long to see the day when worship services start with the organ or piano playing softly for 10-15 minutes before start of service and people arriving sit down and be quite and pray and seek a worshipful atmosphere thru out the sanctuary.
    I long to see the church lobby void of any material being sold. I think Jesus would throw out many of the things that he would find in many of our churches of today. Many of today’s church services are not geared to helping you develop a worshipful mood. Church should be more than a good sermon.



  31. Andy Seitz the CIRCUIT RIDER

    HE has already started about three weeks ago. It is a good reminder of the new changes HE is bringing into mt life. The old adage “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” is wrong. at 75 years old, i an still being corrected AND i a becoming as a child again, immersed in the love of JESUS, the MESSIAH.

  32. I just want to say, first and foremost: Amen. Praise God, Jesus and the Spirit.

    And, second, the people at The Brook Network are very kind. I told them I was having a problem reading the emails they were sending and they actually *cared enough to email back!*

    So, really, I just want to say, “Thank you, Brook Network for the beautiful words — and for caring.”

    Happy Day To All,


  33. Jesus would overturn my very human tendency to worry so that I am free to turn my whole life over to him, Jesus take the wheel…you are in control.

  34. What ever you need to do in me Dear Lord please do it. I too want to be free of worrying and want you to take my anxious thoughts. I want to be free to focus on you and not the challenges that come into my life.

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