When Jesus cleans house, he holds nothing back. In John 2:13-22, shortly after his miracle at the wedding in Cana, Jesus goes to Jerusalem for the Passover celebration. When he arrives at the Temple, he is vexed by what he sees. The temple had become a marketplace, and a corrupt one at that. There are two things wrong with this. First, the location inside the Temple was disrupting the very purpose for which the Temple existed: worship. It belonged outside the Temple. Second, the animals sold for sacrifice were overpriced. The money changers who exchanged currency charged exorbitant fees and lined their pockets with the excess.
Jesus cleared the room. He made a whip. He overturned their tables. He chased them out.
Do we have the same zeal for our temple? What is our temple? It isn’t your church building. Your temple is your body (1 Corinthians 6:19). Jesus foreshadows that the temple of God will cease to be physical buildings when he refers to his own body as being the temple – “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” Are you zealous to wage war against the things that turn your temple into a marketplace?
Marketplace? How is my temple, my body, a marketplace? We are all guilty of selling ourselves to the highest bidder. Every man has a price. What will profit me the most? What will bring the most immediate return? We sell our temple to that person, that thing, that relationship, that job, that hobby, that leisure, that can bring the most immediate benefit. The truth is, we are so concerned with immediate return, instant gratification, that we ignore the real highest bidder – Jesus Christ. He offers his life as payment. But the glare from the shiny things in life obscure the view to the most valuable thing in life.
There actually wasn’t anything wrong with selling animals to travelers who came to worship. What was wrong about it was that it had taken the spotlight away from God and made the Passover about making money. It’s time to fashion a whip. Put the things in your life in order. Force these distractions out to their proper place – outside the temple. Keep your temple set apart for the purpose it was made – a home for the Holy Spirit of God. A place where you can fellowship with the One who redeems you without distraction.