What Jesus Did! 'No More Den of Thieves' — Mark 11:15-17

Tuesday, August 13, 2024

When [Jesus and the disciples] arrived back in Jerusalem, Jesus entered the Temple and began to drive out the people buying and selling animals for sacrifices. He knocked over the tables of the money changers and the chairs of those selling doves, and he stopped everyone from using the Temple as a marketplace. He said to them, "The Scriptures declare, 'My Temple will be called a house of prayer for all nations,' but you have turned it into a den of thieves."
— Mark 11:15-17 NLT

Key Thought

Jesus entered the Temple to restore it to its purpose. The Temple was to be a place of prayer. This place was to be open to all the nations. This place wasn't about making a profit off people seeking God. This place wasn't about merchandising the grace of God. While Jesus' actions were bold and shocking to those of his day, we have a tendency to let the distance in both time and culture soften the implications. When Jesus enters our hearts, our worship, and our religious places and times, what customs, ideas, and behavior will he drive away? Are we open to other nations and cultures? Are we about being a place and people of prayer? How have we sold out our Savior and our worship of him to our over-commercialized culture? How have we let religious charlatans fleece God-seeking people? And since our bodies are God's present-day temple (1 Corinthians 6:19-20), then what does this all mean for us? See the second and third references in the Related Scripture Readings below for two of the passages that help to answer this question for us.

Today's Prayer

O God, my heavenly Father, help me see anything in my life that is not pleasing to you, and let Jesus drive those things out of my life. Humble me gently as you lovingly, but completely, remove the idols and vestiges of false religion that inhabit my heart. Please guide me to live and to serve you and others as you desire. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • John 2:13-22
  • Romans 12:1-2
  • Colossians 3:5-17


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Illustration of Mark 11:15-17 NLT — "The Scriptures declare, 'My Temple will be called a house of prayer for all nations,' but you have turned it into a den of thieves."

About This Devotional

What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware and is available in book form.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.