Come Follow Me 2023, Come Unto Christ, Devotional, Mindful Christian Living, Personal Reflections

Cleansing of Our Temple

And he found in the temple courts those who were selling oxen and sheep and doves, and the money changers seated. And he made a whip of cords and drove them all out of the temple courts, both the sheep and the oxen, and he poured out the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables.  And to the ones selling the doves he said, “Take these things away from here! Do not make my Father’s house a marketplace!” His disciples remembered that it is written, “Zeal for your house will consume me.”
~ John 2:14-17; LEB ~

At the present moment, I am going through and doing some cleaning and reorganization. It is quite time consuming. Difficult to let go of things that I’ve been holding onto because of this idea that someday I will need it. Going through books to determine what I need to keep and what needs to go (and for those of us who are a book lover – that is quite an audacious task to do). I’ve gone through clothes that no longer fit that I have attempted to convince myself some day when I lose enough weight, I will be able to fit into them again. To having to go through food and determine if it is something I am going to need as part of a meal plan or need to simply donate or toss.

Any person who has done this process knows that it is difficult. It is a process that does not happen overnight. And yet gives a notion and idea of a sense of liberation and freedom.

It was the time of the Passover feast and Jesus Christ, with the disciples, had left Galilee and traveled down to Capernaum. From there, they went up to Jerusalem to observe the Pesach. And part of the Passover celebration was one of ritual cleansing. This ritual required that a person’s house was cleansed from any leavened and flour-filled foods. Specifically, this required a person, community, or family, to round up, sell, or otherwise get rid of such foods that were forbidden to the Passover feast. Therefore, what we have in this is the coming of Christ into His temple and driving out all that which was not acceptable and appropriate for honorable worship and veneration. Much of this particular scene took place in the court of the Gentiles where foreigners were able to exchange currency for that which was considered to be acceptable payment for necessary offerings needed for the Pesach.

Jesus Cleansing the Temple

The significance of the Passover rests upon the deliverance of the Israelites from bondage and slavery. Their journey from Egypt to the promised land. The forty years wandering the wilderness. The link one finds between the Old Covenant and Jewish Rituals to that of Jesus Christ coming to Jerusalem and driving out the money changers, the animals, and restoring right and proper worship has significant application to our own lives. And this link of removing unclean or unfit things from the Temple court of Gentiles, cleansing of the Altar (after those certain sacrifices were made) is the idea of removing that which is unclean or dangerous in our own souls and lives.

Christ’s invitation for us to come unto Him, to follow Him, to deny ourselves and to take up our cross on a daily basis is so that we are shedding those things that have enslaved us from our lives, our hearts, and our minds. Those things which are unfit and of no use in living a mindful crucified Christian life. Because, when we commit ourselves over to following Christ and lose our life for His sake – our hearts, minds, and spirit is going through the process of ritual cleansing.

The Savior is taking those spiritual cords, and driving out all that which does not serve the interest and will of our Heavenly Father. And it is sometimes something that we have quite a difficulty of letting go and surrendering unto Him. Because it requires significant sacrifice on our part to allow the cleansing to take place.

Each one of us have things in our lives we are currently working on to get rid of. Perhaps this concept of cleaning and reorganizing my space happens to coincide with the message today. Because it is really an invitation to cleanse our own heart, our own mindset, and our soul that may have inhibit our spiritual growth and freedom found through Jesus Christ. It is literally driving out those things of the past and focusing on embracing the sacred covenant of our life found in Jesus Christ.

When we deal with our personal faults and imperfections, we are essentially dealing with being human. These faults, imperfections, weaknesses of our humanity may cause us to become bitter and cynical about life. Our frustration in seeing the imperfections of others as a reminder of how imperfect and incomplete we feel. It is only when we begin the personal journey of living a mindful crucified Christian life that we are coming to realize that spiritual perfection is not something that happens overnight. It is a process of growth. A process of grace. A process of faith. It is also a process where we need to cleanse our hearts and minds of those things that inhibit our own spiritual growth and faith in Jesus Christ. And it is something we are not able to do of our own volition.

Spiritual perfection is about being accountable. It is about being responsible for our own attitudes and behaviors. Thus, the mindful crucified Christian life is about learning to love our Heavenly Father and in the process of learning to love ourselves so that we are able to minister and love those around us.

This is because of the clarity of scripture: Our Heavenly Father has called each one of us to lead a life of discipline, diligence, moderation, and maturity. However, often than not – many of us, sometimes, get caught up in the temptations of the world to behave differently. Sometimes, these are powerful temptations where we become a bit impulsive. Before one realizes it, our lives become unmanageable, lacking discipline, lacking direction, and we find ourselves off the path of righteous and covenantal living.

Fortunately, our Savior comes in and cleanses us so that we are able to focus on being disciplined in our thoughts and actions. Heeding the warnings of the dangers of being compulsive and impulsive. And where there were excuses – we now have excellence. For it is up to each one of us – and no one else – to become a master of our own spiritual journey and growth. And Christ knows that our greatest barriers to growing in faith is often our unwillingness to be made whole. Our unwillingness to accept responsibility. Our unwillingness to live without excuse for our shortsightedness and our spiritual apathy. Those are the things He will drive out of our hearts and minds. Cleansing our souls so that we may be restored back to honorable worship and veneration of our Heavenly Father.

Today’s Thoughts and Reminder

The cleansing of the temple reminds each one of us that there are potential things in our hearts, minds, and lives that have created a barrier between us and our Heavenly Father. Do not be surprised when you make the commitment to come unto Christ. To follow Him. To deny yourself and take up your cross as a response to His invitation. That He will come into your heart and drive out all that which has inhibited your spiritual growth. Chase out all that no longer serves the best interest of aligning with the will of the Father. Turning over the things that no longer have a place. Because He will disrupt all aspects of your attitude and behavior. Disrupt your personal desires and natural volition. Disrupt anything that is impulsive or compulsive.

Fortunately, it is a process that occurs over time. So that we are able to grow in faith, grow in truth, and grow in love. What is in your life that has inhibited you from growing spiritually? From committing yourself over to accept the Saviors invitation of following Him?

Please Share Your Thoughts in the Comment Section

Do you find these daily devotions helpful and inspiring? I’d love to hear your thoughts and receive feedback. What do you find helpful in today’s devotional? How does this help encourage you to live a mindful, crucified Christian life? What does it mean for you to come unto Christ and follow Him today?

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