John 2:12-17 : After this, he went down to Capernaum, he, and his mother, his brothers, and his disciples; and they stayed there a few days. The Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. He found in the temple those who sold oxen, sheep, and doves, and the changers of money sitting. He made a whip of cords, and threw all out of the temple, both the sheep and the oxen; and he poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew their tables. To those who sold the doves, he said, “Take these things out of here! Don’t make my Father’s house a marketplace!” His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for your house will eat me up.”
The Passover celebrates God’s delivery of Israel from Egyptian slavery. It is also a representation of the Lamb of God that would take away sin, because by the blood of a lamb, the houses of the Jews were passed over by the angel of death which took the lives of all of the first born children of Egypt.
It was required at that time for Jews to make sacrifices, so the animals were being sold in the temple. This obviously troubled Jesus enough to take extreme action. This is one of the notable acts of Jesus that was far from being “meek and mild.”
If the temple is full of marketing, how can a person get to see God? How horrible to think that anything would get in between God and man when man needs God so much.
God should be the main event of the temple. God does not allow competition for our attention. Yes, the Bible does say that God is jealous for our love. He is not jealous of you, but for you. This means he doesn’t want anything to compete with Him for your attention. God knows that there is nothing better for you than to keep your attention on Him. Most of us have had to learn this the hard way.
When the house of God has marketing going on inside of it, it distracts you from giving God the attention He deserves. Does this apply to our churches? I honestly don’t think the Bible is saying that at all. The temple is where God’s presence is. The temple is not your church building. If you are a believer in Jesus, the temple is your body:
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 : Or don’t you know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit which is in you, which you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. Therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.
What would it mean to have our temple become a market place? Perhaps it is when we allow things in this world to fill our minds instead of God. Perhaps it is when we don’t present ourselves as those who have God in ourselves. Here are some questions to ponder: “What about you is more amazing than the fact that God lives in you? When people come to visit you, what do they come to see?” God really is more amazing that anything else and being one that has God living inside is to be one whose most important quality is God’s presence. The church building is not the temple, but we are as believers, and we should encourage each other to keep ourselves true to God and not allow the world to corrupt us.