Read: John 2:13-23
THEME: The Gospel record gives us so many examples of how people engaged with Jesus that it would be hard to find a human challenge that did not in some way meet Him face-to face.
In Malachi, the last book of the Old Testament, it is prophesied that the Messiah will suddenly come to His Temple with a purifying zeal. Even if the Temple traders in Jesus’ day had recognised the relevance of this prophecy to their own behaviour, they would probably have still been surprised at the zeal with which Jesus sent them on their way.
Jesus was determined to set things straight in God’s House at the start of His ministry, and three years later was willing to do it all over again before His final week of teaching. And even that is not the end. If the Malachi prophecy is to be fully applied, we can anticipate a final purging of His spiritual temple when He comes to rule and reign.
So what would those early Temple traders have thought of their first encounter with Jesus? Well, it would have been painful and I am sure His words would have cut them more deeply than any whip... ‘Do not make My Father’s House a house of trade’. Now there is nothing wrong with trade, unless of course the profits of the provider constitute a victimisation of the purchaser. The Temple traders played on the vulnerabilities of those changing their local coins into shekels to pay the Temple tax and to buy sacrifices for the altar. We must not be that naïve when we come to worship.
Let us determine not to short-change God in our worship; then we will be less likely to short-change, or be short-changed by, others.