And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting: ~John 2:14
Prospective home buyers typically request a home inspection before making an offer. They want to know if the appliances are in good working order, the condition of the roof and structure of the house, and if there are any known defects, repairs, or hazardous materials in the house. They don’t want any surprises that would make their future home undesirable. This morning, we see Jesus conducting a home inspection at the temple in Jerusalem.
We see the examination.
Jesus came to the temple for the Passover. As He entered, He saw a very appalling sight. The entrance area was cluttered with merchants selling animals and changers of money plying their trade. The trading was beyond just a convenience for travelers from out of town: it was a covetous racket. These men were there making a profit and taking advantage of a memorial that was designed to remind men of their sin and need for redemption through the shed blood of a lamb without blemish or spot. Jesus saw greed, dishonesty, and hearts very far from God. These men were at the temple not for worship, but for personal gain.
We see the expelling.
“And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers' money, and overthrew the tables.” Jesus was brokenhearted but incensed. He immediately drove all of them out. The scourge of small cords symbolizes the discipline of God. He made it very clear that the temple is the house of God, and not a place for racketeering. Children have a song they sing: “There Shall Be No Sin in My Father’s House.” Jesus acted by casting sin out of the house of God.
We see the excoriation.
“And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father's house an house of merchandise.” First, He claimed ownership and authority of God’s house. It was His Father’s house. Second, He told them what their fault and sin was: they made it a place of merchandise, greed, profit-making, and racketeering. Churches have become a place for people who have multilevel marketing and networking as the motive for their attendance. God’s house is a place of prayer, service, and worship. It is not a social club or hangout. Jesus said, “Take these things hence.”
We see the explanation.
“Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” The Jews were startled, shaken, and taken aback by Jesus' authority. They asked Him to show them a sign from this. Our Lord wisely used this incident to speak about His death on the cross and bodily resurrection. The Jews had institutionalized the temple and lost sight of its purpose. Jesus focuses them on the reason why He came to earth. We must be careful that we do not worship the building, its contents, or the physical assets of a church. Our worship must always be focused on our Lord. What does the Lord see when He inspects our motive for attending church? What does He see about our fervor for serving Him? Remember that He is making a house inspection every time we assemble.
Have a worship-inspired God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Genesis 46-47