Religion is a powerful thing. It goes to the core of who we are. Unfortunately, there are those who know that and who tend to take advantage of our commitment to the faith which guides us. Those are the ones who profit from faith of others.
That was what Jesus saw when he entered the temple. There were merchandisers there exchanging money and charging horrendous fees. Some were selling blemished and inferior animals for sacrifice at exorbitant prices. Jesus was angered by the blatant greed of these people who were taking advantage of the poor people who came to worship.
I can’t help but think of the merchandising that takes place today in the name of the Lord. It seems the simpler the faith the easier it is for charlatans to take advantage of the faithful. People are promised blessings if they buy a certain cloth, or holy water from Israel. Some have even sold what they called slivers of wood from the actual cross of Jesus.
Not all merchandising is that blatant. In a place where I formerly lived I used to get a glossy advertisement from an area church about every 3 months. It would talk about the great programs and events and not even mention Jesus, God or heaven.
Jesus said, “My house will be a house of prayer.” Perhaps if we had more prayer in the house we would have less need for glossy advertising and meaningless fundraisers.
Jesus said, “I will build my church.” When we take it upon ourselves to do his job we come off seeming like a tinkling symbol or sounding brass. When we seek him to reveal his way of building the church he will build it through us.
Prayer: Lord, help me to seek your way and not to rely on my own ingenuity. In Jesus name, amen.
Principle: Jesus said, “I will build my church.” When we seek him to reveal his way of building the church he will build it through us.
Affirmation: I am purposed to seek God to use me in building his church and to reveal his way to me so that I will not do it my way.
Reflection: These few verses do not tell the whole story of what was taking place in the temple courts. They were selling inferior animals at exorbitant prices to be used as sacrifices. They were also cheating the people when they exchanged monies from other places. Can you see a parallel in any ministries today? Have you heard of any scams to get money from sincere believers?