While attending college in Chicago, I enrolled in a speed-reading class. Pricey… but I worked two jobs to pay for it. Never a fast reader, thought this might be beneficial. It was. I still read using my index finger, as we were taught to, which moves my ‘lazyish’ eyes quickly along. Let me assure you that I do not speed-read the Bible!
Tempted, though, when I get to a very familiar passage. Like Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. Preached this story many times over the years. Today was my time to read this story once again. Came to Mark 11: 11 where I was stopped in my tracks. Jesus has heard the cheers of the crowd that day–‘Hosanna’ and ‘Hallelujah’!
The Bible says that Jesus goes ‘into the temple…and when He had looked around at everything, as it was already late, He went out to Bethany with the twelve'(Mark 11:11). He’s in the temple…seemingly all alone. Jesus looks around…at everything. Misses nothing. Is that a sad tear we see rolling down His cheek? Is He noting where His parents took Him to be dedicated with blessings offered by Simeon and Anna? How about all those times, teaching in the temple, amidst the controversies? Is Jesus shaking His head as He sees all those tables used to exchange money? Should this not be a place of worship and prayer?
The Bible says that He looks everywhere, in every nook and cranny, behind every pillar and post. He looks…everywhere. When I read that, it just floored me.
Let’s bring this to today. Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 3: 16–‘do you not know that you are God’s temple…?’ I am? First, we welcome Jesus into our lives. He comes to stay. As Jesus walks around our ‘temple’, what does He see? Things I’d rather hide? ‘No, not there…’! Do you have some windows you just don’t want Him to open? Some locked doors keeping Him out? ‘Look here, Jesus… but no, not there’.
What does He see? No doubt He’ll be looking everywhere, checking out everything. We may hope to keep things from God, but we can’t. He walks around seeing everything. We may think that all those secret sins can be kept from God. But they can’t. He walks around seeing everything.
These ‘idols’ in our lives need to go. You know what I’m talking about. So do I. Pornography? Drugs or alcohol? No. We feel smug that none of those have us in their dirty grip. No? Well, what about gossip? Or worry? How about trying to control others through all kinds of subtle, or not-so-subtle, manipulation and lies? You know exactly what I’m talking about. Let them go. The Lord wants to help. Let Him! Open doors…and windows! That fresh air will sure feel awesome!
Prayer: Lord, show us what needs to change and then help us. In Jesus’ name. Amen.