A little phrase in Mark 11:11 is a curious one, and one which I had I never really pondered before. After Jesus came to Jerusalem in the Triumphal Entry, it says He came to the temple, “and after looking all around” He then went to Bethany. But isn’t that an interesting phrase? WHY was Jesus “looking all around”? WHAT was He “looking all around” for?
It is not hard to surmise. This is the KING! This is the LORD of the temple! This is “(His) Father’s House”! This was the “General” who had come to personally give His inspection! Those who administered the temple should have trembled that day, at the royal inspection they were receiving!
But this phrase should challenge us, too:
— Those of us who administer earthly houses of worship should remember that Jesus said in Revelation that He walks among the lampstands – in other words, He walks among the churches! Even as He “looked all around” the Temple that day in Jerusalem, He is inspecting OUR churches today! How would we feel if Jesus were to visit our church – and walk down every hallway, visit every program, and evaluate every minister and ministry? Well He IS! He walks among the lampstands! He is “looking all around”! That thought should be sobering to us, and should make us very diligent in everything we do in the church. Jesus is “looking all around”!
— But it also applies to each of us personally as well. “Your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit”, Paul famously wrote in I Corinthians 6:19. “The temple” is not just a building in Jerusalem any longer; it is in US who are followers of Christ. So in a very real sense, Jesus is “looking all around” in His “temple” – US! – and He is looking to see what might be out of place, or displeasing to Him, or if everything is in order.
This truth should be a cause for very fastidious and careful self-examination in each of our churches, and each of our lives today – for the Lord of the temple is “looking all around”!