Then He went into the temple and began to drive out those who bought and sold in it, saying to them, “It is written, ‘My house is a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a ‘den of thieves.’ ”And He was teaching daily in the temple. But the chief priests, the scribes, and the leaders of the people sought to destroy Him, and were unable to do anything; for all the people were very attentive to hear Him.Luke 19:45-48
After weeping over the fact that Jerusalem was missing its moment of visitation, Jesus walked into the temple and what He saw there was very distressing to Him! The very temple that was built to be used as a place of worship and prayer had turned into a market. People were making profit out of religious duties and holidays by marking things up and selling them to the people who were visiting the temple.
Jesus was not against buying, selling , or even making a profit, but He was against using the temple of God for selfish gain. The sellers were opportunists who wanted to gouge people on the way to worship, so Jesus sternly turned over the tables because! They were there for their own benefit and not to honor the Lord or worship Him. In reality, there were plenty of places where they could have set up shop and sold their merchandize, but they were using the name of the Lord and the temple of the Lord to get better profit by being strategically where the worshippers going to show up.
The church is not a place to make profit or make our name be known. We don’t go to church to show off our gifts and abilities and ensure that we get placed in the ministry of our choice and desires. The church is a group of people who are called out from the world, and they assemble for the purpose of corporate worship, teaching, prayer, fellowship, and exhortation. We all are there to honor the name of the Lord and magnify Him corporately. However, sometimes we lose focus of why we are there and what we are to do in the church.
Unfortunately, there are those leaders who use the name of God and manipulate the people of God to give more money to their church or their ministry. Sometimes as church members, we forget the purpose of the church and its value, and we begin to focus on other things. We may go to church with an attitude because we are still mad at somebody from the last time we we were there. We’re even hoping that we don’t have to see them or talk to them. There are some who may only show up on the days they serve and prefer not to go to their church when we are not serving. Others are still stewing over why their friend had a solo part during worship, but they never get a chance to do it. Some are too focused on who is wearing what and who is sitting with whom. There are a few who go to church trying to sell their products or recruit people to sign up with their business. There are a few who come with their title of evangelist, preacher, or prophet and expect someone to quickly place them where they feel are called. When that doesn’t happen, they take off and go somewhere else.
If Jesus were to walk in our church on a Sunday, what would He find? What is the condition of your church? What is the condition of your heart when you go to church? Is He still the main person of the gathering!? Is He still the focus!? Jesus turned over the tables, so His Father’s house could be clear from anything that defiled it. Is there anything that defiles your house of worship at a personal level and the corporate level? It’s time for the people of God to be about the Father’s business and let go of all the carnality and distractions that derail the body of Christ and defile His house of worship!