In the Temple area, he saw merchants selling cattle, sheep, and doves for sacrifices; he also saw dealers at tables exchanging foreign money. Jesus made a whip from some ropes and chased them all out of the Temple. He drove out the sheep and cattle, scattered the money changers’ coins over the floor, and turned over their tables. Then, going over to the people who sold doves, he told them, “Get these things out of here. Stop turning my Father’s house into a marketplace!”
Whenever I read over this piece of scripture, I always get the chuckles. To picture Jesus turning His rope into a whip and whipping the corrupt money exchangers and sacrificial animal sellers, seriously who cannot?
I have heard and even used the argument “if Jesus did that, why can’t I?” However, this is not correct to think or even teach This to others, even if joking you will be planting a bad seed in their minds. There is a lot of important lessons that can be taught from this scripture with a little bit of background information for clarification. I wish to share my message with you all today.
During the Passover festival, Jews and Gentiles traveled from all over to celebrate the festival of unlevied bread and the actual Passover day. They remembered and spoke about the miracle’s our God did when saving them from slavery and taking them out of Egypt. This was a time for praising the Lord for all the good He has done for them and to glorify His name.
“Each year every man in Israel must celebrate these three festivals: the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the Festival of Harvest, and the Festival of Shelters. On each of these occasions, all men must appear before the LORD your God at the place he chooses, but they must not appear before the LORD without a gift for him. All must give as they are able, according to the blessings given to them by the LORD your God.”
Since many people had to travel from foreign countries to celebrate, many could not bring the perfect animal sacrifices that were commanded of them nor could they exchange their currency to temple currency. I am sure what started off as good intentions, such as being able to help others with their currency exchange and help with their animal sacrifices turned into a greedy business over time.
I blame this on our natural sinful human nature. They made God’s house a business and even worse were extorting the worshipers by making them pay more than the value of animals were worth and crazy currency exchange rates.
When Jesus saw what had become of His father’s house, He was consumed with passion and wanted to get those corrupt people out of the temple grounds. Jesus did this because He had the authority of God to do so, not because He just wanted to beat people down. Just like police officers are sworn to protect and serve the people in their communities, they are given the authority to do so from a higher governing authority. If everyone were to go outside and attempt to stop crime, the world would be in pure anarchy. The same goes out for those who wish to emulate this scenario with Jesus’ actions because we do not have the authority of God. I want to make this perfectly clear because I understand there are times of complete corruption in God’s house and we may also get filled with passion like Jesus did, but we cannot use violence against others and can only report these issues to have the ones with proper authority fix the problem.
These type of issues happen to churches as much as businesses, many times things are done from good intentions, but get corrupt down the line because we are all human. The message Jesus was trying to teach His disciples and all of us is God’s house is a place of sincere worship and nothing else. When we go to God’s house, whether it is in a church, a building, school, or house; we are there to glorify God and praise Him for all the good He has done in our lives and share this good news with others. These gatherings should never be treated like a social gathering or business-like of any sort. This pollutes the environment for those whose intentions are pure and wanting to dedicate their time to glorify their Heavenly Father in worship.
So please take this message to heart and never forget why you are in God’s house when you are there. Remember all the good God has done in your life and all the love He has given us. God bless you all and please have a wonderful day!