“Jesus entered the temple area and began driving out those who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money-changers and the benches of those selling doves”.
Mk 11:15 NIV
As children we grow up understanding that Jesus was “Gentle Jesus, meek and mild”. The picture is of a weak, loving, friend of the lost and the lonely. Many of us retain that image through into adulthood and find it difficult to balance it with the stronger, more robust picture of Jesus which this incident in the temple paints. Despite all that it symbolised in the Jewish faith, the temple was host to a racket. The sacrificial system required worshippers to come and offer lambs, sheep or doves in atonement for their sins. But they had to be perfect. Only the priests could certify them as perfect. And they only certified as perfect animals that had been bought there. And, yes there was a mark-up of significant percentages! Jesus was appalled. So he seethed with rage and drove out those who changed money – and they always added a cut. The sacrificial system was meant to enable people to get right with God – not to enrich the priesthood.
We might well cast around and decide where there are injustices in our day and in our society that Jesus would find obnoxious. We might ask ourselves whether he would keep quiet about them – or would he determine to wipe them out? Such things pertain not only in society at large. Some practices in many churches would not “pass muster” with Jesus either. Sadly, there are practitioners of the Christian religion who secretly see the church as providing them with an opportunity to feather their nests unscrupulously. They need to be disciplined in the name of Christ.
Lord, purge your church of all evil practices.