When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple courts he found men selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables changing money.
It must have been quite the scene in the Temple that day. One might compare it to the opening day of the county fair. Try to picture it for a moment. As you walk through the gates, you hear the noises of cattle and the loud back-and-forth bartering between the moneychangers and their customers. You look around, and you get the impression that you are at a cattle auction. Oxen, sheep, and doves are everywhere. And then, of course, there would be the smell. Imagine the stench!
Yet, it was not the smell of cattle that aroused the righteous anger of Jesus that day. Far worse than the smell of animals in the courtyard was the spiritual stench in and around God’s house. The courtyard of the Temple was where non-Jewish believers were allowed to worship. Imagine how difficult this must have been with so many merchants buying and sheep bleating!
How many distractions are in your life that keeps you from focusing on God? How many different things are keeping you from worship or daily prayer and devotion? Life provides no shortage of things that daily distract us from our relationship with God. Unchecked, these distractions can drive us further and further away from the Lord.
Thankfully, God was never distracted from saving us. Our heavenly Father let nothing get in the way of his plan to win our salvation. Jesus, our Savior, let nothing distract him from his mission of going to the cross to pay for the sins of the whole world. Our Savior was and is always focused on us. His life, death, and resurrection have assured us that we have a place in heaven through faith in him.
Dear Lord, thank you for your determination in winning forgiveness and eternal life in heaven for me. Help me to eliminate the distractions in my life and to focus on you today. Amen.
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