Mark Has Some Good News, Part 48, And That's How A Savior Opens A Can
Jesus Cleanses the Temple
15 And they came to Jerusalem. And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold and those who bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. 16 And he would not allow anyone to carry anything through the temple. 17 And he was teaching them and saying to them, "Is it not written, 'My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations'? But you have made it a den of robbers." 18 And the chief priests and the scribes heard it and were seeking a way to destroy him, for they feared him, because all the crowd was astonished at his teaching. 19 And when evening came they went out of the city.
I think Jesus was trying to show us how to deal with problems in the church. Let examine what he does for the trouble leadership of his Fathers church. An organized group of merchants and temple officials had institutionalized as system for making sure only the best animals were sacrificed to God. And in doing so people other than the "ordained by God" priests we're making a living because sinners need to repent and be atoned for.
Jesus wasn't mad that they were working at his church. He wasn't mad that they were providing the right animals for the sacrifices. I think he was mad because they were making money and a profit off of animals that had to die for sins just like greed.
The big idea of Worship is to come to God and praise him, to ask him for forgiveness and to ask of his will for you. If you have to pay someone above the cost of the requirements for that worship then there are people who think they are more important than God.
If a single dollar will be the deciding factor of whether or not you let people worship you just stepped in front of an almighty God who's going to open a can on your lemonade stand.
So my big question is if Jesus wants us to be like him. How do we appropriately deal with people who use the church to make money or use a ministry as an advertising market?
I know for me this looks like a youth pastor roughing up a drug dealer that uses his ministry as a customer base and taking all his money and donating it to IJM.
I'm probably way off. But Mark's buddy John points out that he went to the trouble to braid a whip to deal with these synagogue swindlers. Google that process some time for some perspective on how Jesus takes to dishonest salesmen.