Today we are looking at the account of Jesus driving the money changers out of the Temple. I chose the version of this story from John 2:13-17, New International Version, accessed from Bible Gateway.com.
13 When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 In the temple courts he found people selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. 15 So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple courts, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. 16 To those who sold doves he said, “Get these out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a market!” 17 His disciples remembered that it is written: “Zeal for your house will consume me.”[c]
John 2:13-17, New International Version, accessed from BibleGateway.com
I chose the story of this incident from the book of John because it clearly shows that Jesus was angry, to put it mildly. How does this apply today? Have we turned our churches into markets? Or as accounts from other Gospels say “a den of thieves?”
Are you saddened when you see churches being run as big businesses? Do you know of churches where the Senior pastor has the title of CEO or functions as one? Have you ever attended a church that charged for everything from Sunday School literature, to classes, to church dinners, to children’s Vacation Bible School? Doesn’t this exclude certain people? Does your church operate a bookstore where books and other religious merchandise are sold? Do you know that some churches charge for prayer or spiritual guidance?
Dig a Little Deeper:
What do you think Jesus would think about our big buildings with even bigger budgets? Would Jesus come into our churches today and start turning things upside down?