Religious sales?

cleansing the temple

In John chapter two verses twelve to seventeen we read the account of Jesus cleansing the temple.

The Jews all needed to go to the temple. And it was often inconvenient for them to bring the proper offering. Also thanks to the Romans they may not have even had the proper currency for their obligatory temple maintenance and services tax.

Jesus doubtless understood this. But he got upset. He got angry. Didn’t He? I guarantee that He didn’t make a whip and drive people out with a meek little smile on His face. He was furious!

So now, the important question: Was the issue that the temple was not an appropriate place for buying and selling for religious purposes? Or was it that people were providing and seeking convenience in their acts of obedience and worship?

Read this passage and meditate on it yourself. Ask the Lord to give you insight and understanding. Read Zechariah 14:20-21. Observe how this even that John recounts is a fulfillment of what was written in Zechariah.

I don’t intend to give you an answer this time. However I will say this. I’ve visited many modern churches that sell CD’s, books, coffee, donuts, bumper stickers, etc., in the church hall or foyer. Which can accepted as the modern equivalent of the temple court. In fact among these modern churches it is the rule rather than the exception that all these things are available. Also there is a growing momentum of allowing tithe to be paid online. Or by card scanners in the church. Payable by credit card. You could be spending money that you don’t actually have (debt) to pay your tithe with.

In light of Jesus’ actions is this acceptable? If Jesus came to your church this Sunday would He be filled with zeal for His Father’s house, grab a chair, and start smashing these things in disgust? Or would He examine the hearts of the people and be pleased?

Action  point: Let’s not pick and choose where we will apply God’s will to our lives. Rather be open at all times and in all things to let the Holy Spirit lead and guide you. Surrender your whole life to the Lord. In all that you do act with conviction. Live a life of worship, not just a couple of hours on Sunday. Do this and you will one day hear those glorious, heavenly words: ‘Well done good and faithful servant” and bask in the His smile and pleasure. Amen.