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  • Writer's pictureEast Martin CRC

Cheapening what is Holy

Mark 11:15-18

Verse 16 …and would not allow anyone to carry merchandise through the temple courts.

Yesterday we talked about the parade of the King and how it broke His heart to see the people and city that would soon reject Him. Today we talk about what happened the next day (see Mark 11:11-12 for the timeline) as He fulfilled the prophecy given in Malachi 3:1, “I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to His temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come,” says the Lord Almighty.

Jesus had early memories from the temple. His parents had taken Him there every year for the Passover and had even lost Him for 3 days on the visit when He was 12 because He was in the temple talking to the religious teachers of the time. The religious teachers had been amazed with Him then but here we are about 20 years later and they are looking to kill Him because He is interfering with their position in the community.

As Jesus came into the temple that day He couldn’t help but be upset by the activities going on in what was supposed to be a holy place. As if there were no streets around the building people were carrying things through the courts instead of going around outside. There were people selling animals for sacrifices and changing money from foreign currency into the temple coins. While none of these things may seem very bad on the surface, Jesus saw the heart of the issue.

When we allow holy things to take on ordinary value, the holiness is tarnished. This is about more than treating a church building as a marketplace or shortcut, it is about not seeing what the building represents, God and His holiness. By allowing these activities to continue unchecked, the leaders were saying money and convenience matter more than the God of the universe that they were supposed to be worshiping.

Sadly we don’t do much better when we allow the sacred things of life to become valueless in our lives. When a marriage becomes more about our pleasure and desires instead of glorifying God and reflecting the image of Christ and His bride, the Church. Or when we take communion without carefully examining our hearts to make sure we are not living in disobedience of God. Maybe we worship Him without actually thinking about Him. There are many ways we take the things of God and cheapen them out of convenience or selfishness, but Jesus calls us to more.

Making It Personal

What some things that you may not treat as holy as you should? What causes you to treat it that way? What can you return holiness to in your life?

Making It Personal Kids

What does it mean that something is holy? Why does Jesus want you to treat things like the church in a special way? Do you treat things the way Jesus would want you to?

Closing Prayer

Father, thank You for the reminder that You have set some things apart as holy. Help us clearly see the things that You want treated different and hold them with the respect that You have placed on them. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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