“On reaching Jerusalem, Jesus entered the temple area and began driving out those who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and doves, and would not allow anyone to carry merchandise through the temple courts. And as he taught them, he said, “Is it not written:
‘My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations?’
But you have made it ‘a den of robbers.’
Jesus was a very passionate person. And He desired to see the kingdom of God revealed so much, that He did everything according to the will of God in order for that to happen. And many times, we read of Jesus rebuking the Pharisees and teachers of the law, and sometimes it seems pretty harsh. The parables He used were so blatant about their wrongful lifestyles, and many times He just came out and told people “watch out for the Pharisees.” But this time, not only did Jesus speak words against those opposing Him, but He physically caused a spectacle.
People become very angry and emotional when there are attacks on things they love the most. I’ve known people that have had new cars or new shoes, and if someone scratched it a little or got it a little dirty, they would seriously flip out. When a person’s reputation and character are on the line, They do whatever they can to clear up their name, because that image is so important. Here, we see Jesus thoroughly disgusted with what the people were doing in the temple, and He was not going to stand for it. If they weren’t going to listen to His words, He was going to take it one step further. He flipped tables and benches, and physically stopped others from carrying things through the temple. Now that is passion.
I’m reminded of this everytime I see my church have bake sales and food sales and such to raise money. I don’t see anything completely wrong with it, and it’s a great way to raise money to go back into the church, but I have this picture of Jesus running through and flipping everything over. I feel like He thinks to himself, “Today I said was the day I set apart for you to worship me, and here you are sitting in the basement of the temple discussing prices for food!” The church was not meant to be a convenience store, but a house of prayer. The words stemming from our lips should not be about dollars and cents, but rather praises and worship to the God who saved us.
We’ve lost sight of what “the church” is. We don’t give it as much reverence, we don’t treat it with as much respect. There was so much preparation in the Old Testament before people would enter into the temple, and only high priests after many rituals would be allowed on the altar. Yet here, people walk into the church talking on cell phones, throwing around balls, running through the aisles. Do we realize that this is a place of worship, a sanctuary for God? Total disrespect. We’ve become so relaxed with our preparation so as to not become legalistic or something, and we’ve lessened the power of the presence of God. We need to get back the same reverence for the church of God. We need to see it as a place where the spirit dwells. We need to enter it with awe, with humility, and with gratefulness.
It’s been said that our bodies are a temple of God. Is God in your heart? And if so, is He so disgusted with what He sees that He wants to start flipping tables and benches? Our hearts cannot be divided between God and things of this world. We cannot serve to masters…It’s not God and Money, God and Education, God and Status, God and Relationship…it’s just God. Once we cleanse ourselves of the filth that we’ve turned our hearts into, we’ll be able to truly have a place that we are proud to call a sanctuary of God. Let’s clean up this temple. Let’s build an altar and give praise to God. Always.