Imagine coming home and finding people partying in your parents’ house. Food all over the couch, drinks spilled on the carpet smell of smoke everywhere—You would be angry. That is exactly what Jesus experienced as he entered the temple. This place of worship was nothing more than a farmers’ market. What is worse, they were cheating the people who came to worship.
So Jesus worked to remedy the problem. He cleared the market and scolded all the religious folk. What an uproar that caused. Truth was–the difference between the leaders’ perception and Jesus’s was the difference between being an employee and being family. As his child, we would never disrespect our dad’s wishes or dishonor his house.
But as perceived employees of God–the religious leaders continued act as if their relationship with God was a list of do’s and don’ts; and, righteousness could be achieved by checking the boxes and hiding the evil of their hearts within their extravagant religious robes. What they were not prepared for was–God facing them and seeing right through the robes and into their hearts and minds.
We still struggle with that today. So many Christians and churches equate spirituality with pomp, ceremony and the show. If our numbers are up, if the worship is good then…we are great. If the sermon is being downloaded weekly and if the community thinks we are good—then we must be.
But, just like in the temple, God looks through all that–and straight into our hearts. He wants to know if we understand the relationship is truly about intimate fellowship with him. Do we get that his main desire is to free us from the complexity of religion and untangle us from the guilt of our past and the culture that pervades our world. That is the same perception issue Jesus had to deal with in the temple.
If we will simply trust him, seek him and follow him—then we can be free to live as his child in his lavish love and eternal plan. If we do not—well then, we will suffer at our own hand and fall into a well designed trap that speaks of you being in charge, but simply enslaves you to a lifeless religion or a cruel and evil world. I want to be free!!!
God Bless You
13 It was nearly time for the Jewish Passover celebration, so Jesus went to Jerusalem. 14 In the Temple area he saw merchants selling cattle, sheep, and doves for sacrifices; he also saw dealers at tables exchanging foreign money. 15 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. 16 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!”
17 Then his disciples remembered this prophecy from the Scriptures: “Passion for God’s house will consume me.”[c]
18 But the Jewish leaders demanded, “What are you doing? If God gave you authority to do this, show us a miraculous sign to prove it.”
19 “All right,” Jesus replied. “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”