You’ve probably heard of the widely popular home improvement TV show, “Fixer Upper”, with Chip and Joanna Gaines. They take the “worst house in the best neighborhood” and restore it to its original purpose. It begins with an inspection, and what they usually find is disastrous.
Jesus did such an inspection as He came into the holy city, Jerusalem.
Jesus entered Jerusalem and came into the temple; and after looking around at everything, He left for Bethany with the twelve, since it was already late (Mark 11:11 NASB).
Don’t miss the seemingly random bit of travelogue: “after looking around at everything.” The Wuest Expanded translation says it like this: “after giving everything a comprehensive inspection.”
Jesus never did anything randomly. What was He inspecting?
The answer became clear the next day, as seen in verse 15-17:
Then they came to Jerusalem. And He entered the temple and began to drive out those who were buying and selling in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who were selling doves; and He would not permit anyone to carry merchandise through the temple. And He began to teach and say to them, “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations’? But you have made it a robbers’ den.”
The temple was God’s house. Jesus was making an inspection to see what was happening in His house. When He had gotten instructions from His Father, He came back the next day and CLEANED HOUSE.
He still inspects His house. Look at Revelation 3 and 4, and you will see Jesus, after His ascension, returning to the seven churches and telling them what to do to clean up the church.
He has the authority to do so, and we should be grateful for His intense interest. And you should be aware that He is looking at our (His) church all the time.
What does He find as He “looks around at everything” in our church? Vain worship? Holy, sacred things being used for selfish, secular purposes? His mission being passionately followed? His presence filling the house?
And most importantly, is our church missing its essential task—to be a house of prayer for all nations? Does He find us doing what He desires with what is His?
If not, it’s time to ruthlessly and relentlessly clean house.