Jesus Angered by the Religious Merchants
Mark 11:15-19 So they came to Jerusalem. Then Jesus went into the temple and began to drive out those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves. And He would not allow anyone to carry wares through the temple. Then He taught, saying to them, “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations’ ? But you have made it a ‘den of thieves.’” And the scribes and chief priests heard it and sought how they might destroy Him; for they feared Him, because all the people were astonished at His teaching. When evening had come, He went out of the city.” NKJV
The money changers were those men who would exchange foreign currency to the Jewish people that would come from different places so that they could have valid money to use in the city of Jerusalem. These men like the tax collectors would so raise the exchange rates that they would make profit on average of over 100% and even as high as 300%. These men were dominated and ruled by greed and they could care less about the economic status of the people they were exploiting.
Jeremiah 7:11 “Has this house, which is called by My name, become a den of thieves in your eyes? Behold, I, even I, have seen it,” says the LORD. NKJV
Those who sold the animals did so for the people to use to sacrifice to YAHWEH in the temple. These men would so raise their prices knowing that the people had to buy from them. The Jewish people that came with their own animals for the sacrifice, these sellers would inspect their animals and find some irrelevant or made up flaw or blemish with the animal and pressure them into purchasing one of their animals to sacrifice. Probably they were business partners in some way with the chief priest, scribes, and elders of the temple. They had turned the sacred and holy temple of God into a mall or a merchant place.
Hosea 12:7 He is a merchant, the balances of deceit are in his hand: he loveth to oppress. KJV
Our Lord has been steadfastly making His way to Jerusalem to complete the Father’s will by satisfying the wrath of God that remains on mankind for sin. He arrives and makes His triumphal entry into Jerusalem and into the temple. Because the time was late He took the 12 disciples and they left the city of Jerusalem for that night to lodge in Bethany and they came back the next day and as our Lord entered the temple immediately He was angered as He saw the money changers and those who sold animals doing it right inside the holy temple. Our Lord was probably at this time far from the mild, meek, and modest Shepherd, but He went through the temple with such fury that He would have made the incredible hulk look like a little school boy. It perhaps was a brief glimpse of what the Apostle John witnessed of our Lord in Revelation Chapter 1 when he saw Him he fell at His feet as dead.
When the Lord God spoke to Moses and gave him those very detailed instructions on how the temple was to be built and how the worship was to be conducted to honor Him those details were very specific and meticulous because they were but a pattern of The Temple Jesus Christ that stood in their midst that day. All who have been born again are the temple of God and our bodies where our Lord Jesus Christ lives is to be a constant temple of prayer to Him as a sweet savory aroma to His Heavenly Nostrils (see sermon entitled “Are You the Temple of God”, http://www.faithwriters.com/article-details.php?id=86428 ). Our Lord knew that the temple there was but a picture of Him and that their making merchandise in this holy place was a reflection of their hearts to the Father and to Him as they are One. Our Lord knew that the Jewish religious rulers would not receive Him, but He wanted them to know how sinfully rebellious to YAHWEH they had become with the veracious display of anger and wrath against turning His house of prayer into a merchant mall.
Isaiah 56:6-8 “Also the sons of the foreigner Who join themselves to the LORD, to serve Him, And to love the name of the LORD, to be His servants --- Everyone who keeps from defiling the Sabbath, And holds fast My covenant ---Even them I will bring to My holy mountain, And make them joyful in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices Will be accepted on My altar; For My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations.” The Lord GOD, who gathers the outcasts of Israel, says, “Yet I will gather to him Others besides those who are gathered to him.” NKJV
They hated reformation and wanted no part of His correction because of their love for money. This act of cleansing the temple of what He deemed to be abominable so infuriated the chief priest, scribes, and the elders that they were even more determined to kill Him. How ironic that our Lord knew their evil hearts and was in the city of Jerusalem for the very purpose of allowing them to kill Him and so fulfill the will of God.
Today we have men and women as I have stated in other writings that are addressed by the title prophet or prophetess and they are said to have the gift of prophecy. Some of these prophets charge people to prophecy over their lives and tell them things that will happen for them or to them in the upcoming year or whatever period of time the person request of the prophet or prophetess. They are serving in the same role or capacity as the occultist fortune teller or palm reader as they charge people to come to them so that they can tell them their future.
I can recall visiting Bishop T. D. Jakes church in Dallas, Texas as I was in town visiting relatives and we all decided to visit his church. The place was huge and a very nice facility. However, I was very perplexed as I walked around the front area before going to find a seat (it was built much like a basketball arena) I saw men and woman (like at a basketball game) selling t-shirts, caps, sweaters, programs, key chains, cups, and other items with Bishop T. D. Jakes picture on those things. I felt like I was at a basketball or football stadium and game. The man Bishop Jakes was merchandising his own image.
How is that going to bring glory to Jesus Christ? There is no gospel message that can save the soul of a lost person in an image on a t-shirt. That is far different from one putting his picture on a book cover with the message of the gospel contained in the book that God the Holy Spirit can use to save a soul. I held my peace about what I witnessed and did not express how repulsed I felt by seeing what I saw that day. When I reflect back on that day in Texas, I gain a much deeper understanding of why our Lord responded with such anger.
2 Peter 2:3 And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not. KJV
“The first century money changers were in the temple, but they didn’t have the spirit of the temple... They were out of sync with the whole purpose of the Lord’s house. “The atmosphere of my Father’s house,” Jesus seemed to say, “is to be prayer. The aroma around my Father must be that of people opening their hearts in worship and supplication. This is not a place to make a buck. This is a house for calling on the Lord.” Jim Cymbala
“Christ is our temple, in whom by faith all believers meet.” Matthew Henry
“Every saint is God’s temple, and he who carries His temple about him, may go to prayer when he pleaseth.” Augustine (see article entitled “Praying for those we Love”, http://www.faithwriters.com/article-details.php?id=79470 ).
“We are now the Temple of God! If the inanimate structure of the old covenant trembled and shook at God's presence, what is our response, we in whom this same glorious and holy God now lives? How can there be the slightest indifference or coldness or routine or mere ritual or mindless habit in our worship when this same God lives and abides in us?” Sam Storms
If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ and His amazing healing power, pray this from your heart to the Lord Jesus Christ (you speaking directly to Him), Dear Lord Jesus, I confess to You that I am a sinner and I need Your forgiveness. I believe You shed Your Blood and died for my sins. I believe that You rose from the dead proving that You alone are God. I repent of my sins. I want to turn from my sins. I ask You Dear Lord Jesus to come into my heart and take control of my life. I want You to be my Lord, Savior, and my God. Amen...
Sincerely in Christ,
Clifford D. Tate, Sr.
Author of “Silent Assassins of the Soul - Are you Broken by Pornography and Masturbation? You can be Restored by the Lord Jesus Christ and brought into Deliverance, Freedom, and Victory! A Guide for Men and Women in the Enemy’s Crosshairs” e-book available now @ Amazon Kindle, @ Apple I Bookstore for IPod, Barnes and Noble for Nook, Reader Store for Sony Reader, Kobo, Copia, Gardners, Baker and Taylor, and eBookPie…
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