During Holy Week we are invited to consider Jesus’ final days and wonder what those events might say to us today.
On reaching Jerusalem, Jesus entered the temple courts and began driving out those who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves,and would not allow anyone to carry merchandise through the temple courts. And as he taught them, he said, “Is it not written: ‘My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations’? But you have made it ‘a den of robbers.’”
The chief priests and the teachers of the law heard this and began looking for a way to kill him, for they feared him, because the whole crowd was amazed at his teaching. (Mark 11:15-18)
The money changers and merchants weren’t actually the problem; they always set up shop within the temple walls. But over time their business had expanded and took up increasingly more space until there literally wasn’t room for anyone else. Instead of offering a “house of prayer for all nations,” worshipers were squeezed out and had no place to pray.
Without diving into a well of guilt and remorse and self-recrimination, let’s dare to ask the question – What might be taking up too much room in our lives? What tables might Jesus want to tip over today? What would he like to throw out? What is demanding too much space and attention?
If Jesus could enter into our “temple gates” or our homes or our lives, what would he see? If he gazed into our eyes (or maybe into our souls), what would he point out as if to say– this just isn’t good for you. This is separating you from God. This is distracting you from what is really important.
What do we need to get rid of in order to make more room for Jesus?