You shall seek the place that the Lord your God will choose out of all your tribes to put his name and make his habitation there. There you shall go, and there you shall bring your burnt offerings and your sacrifices… Deuteronomy 12:5-6
The temple is of huge significance in the Bible story, because in Old Testament times it was the place where people met with God.
In Jesus’ time, the temple area was divided into various courts designated for different groups of people. There was a court where only women could go, and at the center of the temple, there was the Most Holy Place, where only the High Priest could go—once a year!
The outer court, which was the first area you would walk through to go into the temple, was called the Court of the Gentiles. This was the one area where people from any nation could come to worship. And in the time of Jesus, it had been taken over by traders!
Imagine you are a Gentile and you have come to worship God, but when you arrive at the temple, you find a wall of noise from people bartering and arguing, not to mention the animals! The place devoted to seeking God has been taken over!
What Jesus found in the temple is something many of us know from our own experience. Your life is given to you by God so that you can seek him, find him, have fellowship with him, and find life in him. You want to find your rest, satisfaction, and joy in God, but the traders have moved in, and now your soul is filled with noise, conflict, and endless argument.
Do you sometimes feel that worship, love, and joy in God are being crowded out of your life by the unending demands of chasing after the latest deal?