Focal passage: Mark 11:15-19; 12:41-44
Have you ever discovered a tick on your skin? A simple walk through the woods or high grass can make you vulnerable and open to one latching on. Once they attach themselves, they can spread disease, some of which can lead to death if untreated. But if you catch them early, tick bites can be easily remedied.
We could say the same for the moneychangers in the temple. These “ticks” were spoiling the health of worship. As a result, they were selected and rejected by God so no theological disease could take root. Mark communicates to his readers that Jesus commands pure, holy and genuine worship.
In the second story of the widow giving money, Mark conveys a discipleship moment Jesus gave to His followers. The emphasis here is placed on the widow giving – in poverty – everything she had. Using the illustration above, a person should give everything they can to pursue healthy worship with the Savior.
Pursuit of genuine worship can be observed corporately and individually. As for the former, the church should be actively practicing church discipline. Such a practice should be a mark of every healthy church. It demonstrates that because our God is holy, our churches are to be as well (1 Corinthians 5:11).
On an individual level, it is important to note that Jesus is the one casting out moneychangers. (v. 15). Christ does a work in us as we pursue Him, removing the spiritually unhealthy parts of our lives (Hebrews 12:1-2). We run after Him with the goal of presenting ourselves as pure sacrifices (Romans 12:1).
Jesus quotes from Isaiah 56:7 in Mark 11:17, and highlights whom the house is for, “all nations.” In other words, it does not matter what culture or ethnicity a person belongs to, Christ welcomes all.
How can you pray for your spiritual health or the health of your church?