The agitation for reopening of worship centers during the Covid-19 crisis brings an interesting incidence in the bible to mind. One day, Jesus entered the temple and met a scene of chaos and acrimony. People were buying and selling animals for sacrifices. Lambs, doves and many other kinds of animals were up for sale. All Jesus heard was bleating and shrieks and coos and haggling. He began to drive them out. When some became stubborn he got a whip. “He said to them, “The scriptures declare, ‘My temple shall be a house of prayer,’ but you have turned it into a den of thieves.” (Luke 19:46, NLT).
This event over 2000 years ago is just so relevant to what is happening today. Do you know that if Jesus visits the temple today he would most likely flog and drive out the people? In 1Corinthians 6:19 the bible says: “Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself.”
You know what that means? It means your body, your thoughts, behavior, desires, calculations, habits, and everything that you are is the temple of the Holy Spirit. But what do you find as the content of the thoughts and calculations of many people? – commotion and misgivings, in most cases. This is because these behaviors are natural to the carnal man. The desires of many people is well captured by the bible: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasure, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarrelling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties… (Galatians 16:19-21, NLT).
So, how many people can escape been thrown out of the temple should Jesus open their hearts? I want you to give this some thoughts next time you want to add your voice to the call for reopening of places of worship.