Luke 19:45-48 NRSVue
45Then he entered the temple and began to drive out those who were selling things there, 46and he said, “It is written,
‘My house shall be a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a den of robbers.”
47Every day he was teaching in the temple. The chief priests, the scribes, and the leaders of the people kept looking for a way to kill him, 48but they did not find anything they could do, for all the people were spellbound by what they heard.
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Some thoughts on this scripture
The minds of the people are opening as the minds of the officials are closing. They both reacted to the same words and actions. I think of my habitual reactions and ask Jesus to shape them.
Jesus calls me to the clarity with which he saw the world. I am made to give glory to God and to shed any way of living that is not worthy of the ‘temple’ that I am.
The Temple, the quintessential place of prayer, seems to have been subverted over time by the preoccupation of little businesses, each necessary in its own way. Jesus needed to challenge the drift and reassert the holiness of the Temple.
In the same sense my soul - my life, is a Temple where God desires to dwell. It too, perhaps, can be gradually subverted by many little developments, each valuable in its own way.
The Jesus who cleared the Temple held his listeners spellbound. Can I allow him to speak with clarity to me?
Temple-goers seem not to have noticed what the hucksters had done to the holy place, as they changed money and sold animals for sacrifice. They were offering a service, like the souvenir shops in Lourdes, the event managers of weddings, and the organisers of First Communion parties and outfits. Commerce tends to grow and grow when it finds a market, so the Temple, the place of prayer, degenerated into a sort of marketplace. Jesus needed to challenge the drift and reassert its holiness.