Jesus entered the temple area and proceeded to drive out
those who were selling things, saying to them,
“It is written,
My house shall be a house of prayer,
but you have made it a den of thieves.”
And every day he was teaching in the temple area.
The chief priests, the scribes, and the leaders of the people, meanwhile,
were seeking to put him to death,
but they could find no way to accomplish their purpose
because all the people were hanging on his words. Luke 19:45-48
The temple was the economic, political, and religious center of life. And it was seen as the very dwelling place of God on earth. It was the place where heaven and earth met, where the harmony between divinity and humanity was achieved—at least in principle. For the prophets remind the nation constantly that the temple and its rituals have been perverted.
One of the messianic expectations was that the anointed one would purify the temple. This is exactly what Jesus is doing. He is the Messiah who is trying to turn the temple once more into a place of prayer.
Keep this image of Jesus clearly in your mind as we take a further step. St. Paul said that our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit. So the true dwelling place of God is now in the very bodies of the followers of Jesus.
Bring this insight together with the image of Jesus cleansing the temple. You—your life, your body, your self—are meant to be a temple where God is praised. Every aspect of your life is meant to be turned to the Lord, dedicated to him.