And Jesus answered and said unto it, No man eat fruit of thee hereafter for ever. And his disciples heard it. And they come to Jerusalem: and Jesus went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves; And would not suffer that any man should carry any vessel through the temple. And he taught, saying unto them, Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer? but ye have made it a den of thieves. - Mark 11:14-17
Never in the Bible do we see Jesus as angry as He is at this defilement of the temple. Not when people scorned Him. Not when the Pharisees tried to kill Him. Not when His disciples doubted Him. Not even at the cross. This picture of Jesus is unlike anything else we see about Jesus in the Bible. The situation in the temple angered Jesus to the point that He overturned tables and according to another account in the Bible, He even fashioned a whip and chased the moneychangers out of the temple. So why was He so upset? What was the big deal? He answers that question clearly in verse 17 of the passage above: Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer? but ye have made it a den of thieves. These men had turned God's house into a money-making scheme. They had defiled the temple with their wicked ways and mocked God in the process. The temple was supposed to be a sacred place, a holy place. Jesus did not take kindly to their mistreatment of His Father's house.
The Bible tells us in no uncertain terms that our bodies are the temples of the Holy Ghost. They were intended to be vessels of honor. They were intended for God's use. So how do you think He feels about our treating our bodies (His temple) like garbage cans? Just like the passage above, we have turned God's temple into a den of thieves. We allow thieves in the forms of processed foods, sugars and caffeine to rob us of energy, vitality and health. We consume things we know to be bad because we want them or enjoy them. Then we wonder why we never feel good, are always tired and suffer from a growing number of ailments.
We have control over what goes into our bodies even though these bodies don't belong to us. We are not our own. We are borrowing these bodies. They belong to God. Do you think He's pleased with the care we've been giving them? Or do you think He is angered by our lack of self-control and concern for His temple? We are poisoning ourselves--killing our bodies slowly. We are defiling God's temple, and the worst part of all is that we don't seem to care. We laugh about the extra weight we're carrying around or cry about how bad we feel, but until we care enough to do something about it, nothing will change.
I don't know about you, but I'm ashamed of the state of my body. I've not taken care of it the way I know I should. I've given in to the pleasures of food and the delight of comfort over exercise, and in the process, I've allowed my health to deteriorate. Now, more than ever, I want to serve God, but because of the neglect of my health, I am now limited by it. And until I get things under control, I will never be able to serve God the way He intends for me to.
The journey ahead is long, and the road is rough, but I've resolved to stop defiling God's temple. And beyond that, I've begun a rebuilding program that consists of a healthy diet and proper exercise. I don't want God to be angry with me. I don't want to be ashamed when I stand before Him and have nothing to offer but excuses. I want to serve with my full potential, and I can't do that in this state. It's time for a change! Who's with me?