Summary: BUILT ON MARK 11, IT HELPS NORTH AMERICAN CHRISTIANS TO SEE WHY JESUS WAS REALLY ANMGRY WITH THE PHARISEES FOR WHAT THEY WERE DOING IN THE COURT OF THE GENTILES.
A DEN OF THIEVES AND A KOSHER BAPTIST SUIT
(Mark 11:15 NIV) On reaching Jerusalem, 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,
(Mark 11:16 NIV) and would not allow anyone to carry merchandise through the temple courts.
(Mark 11:17 NIV) And as he taught them, he said, "Is it not written: "’My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations’? But you have made it ’a den of robbers.’"
(Mark 11:18 NIV) The chief priests and the teachers of the law heard this and began looking for a way to kill him, for they feared him, because the whole crowd was amazed at his teaching.
I want you to imagine that you are a Roman Catholic teenager, a Canadian citizen, who has recently moved to the Southern states. Lately you have become somewhat dissatisfied with your Roman Catholic church. One of your friends is a southern Baptist, belonging to a particular group of southern Baptists who call themselves kosher Southern Baptist. Two of their particular emphases are that they avoid associations with non-Baptists; and they avoid associations with anyone who is not born in the United States. This friend has told you that his group of kosher southern Baptists is really the only group of Christians who worship God in the true way. So you decide to go to his kosher southern Baptist church.
You do not have any Sunday-go-to-meeting clothes. So on the previous Saturday you go out and get yourself a brand new pair of designer jeans. You pay $40.00 for them on sale. Sunday morning finds you, a Canadian Roman Catholic, in the foyer of the kosher Southern Baptist church. In the foyer there is a literature display with all sorts of literature against non-kosher Baptists and against foreigners.
You start to make your way into the auditorium and an usher meets you. He asks you your religion and your country of origin. You tell him that you are a Roman Catholic from Canada. He says to you: "Before you can enter the auditorium to worship the true God, you must have a kosher Southern Baptist suit made in the United States." He directs you to a room where they sell such kosher Southern Baptist suits made in the United States. The room is called The Prayer Chapel for Non-Kosher Baptists and Similar Foreigners.
As you enter this room, you find all sorts of Southern Baptists born in the United States haggling with all sorts of non-Baptists and with all sorts of foreigners about the price of kosher Southern Baptist suits. The room is extremely noisy. You wonder how any one would have the nerve to call it a prayer chapel. You find a suit that fits you, and the price is $400. Anywhere else the same quality of suit would sell for $150, but it has a label marked Kosher Southern Baptist made in the United States. Any other suit will not be suitable for worship in the Kosher Southern Baptist church.
You recall hat you have only $395 in your bank account. You ask the fellow selling the Kosher Southern Baptist suits made in the United States whether he will take a check for $395. He tells you that he will take your check, as long as it is in U.S. funds and written on a bank owned by a kosher Southern Baptist. But he tells you that you will need to give him another $5 in cash. You tell him that you do not have any cash. He tells you that he will give you $5 for your jeans. You tell him that just the day before you paid $40 for the jeans on sale. He tells you that because you, a Roman Catholic, a non-kosher person, a Canadian, a foreigner, have been wearing them, the jeans have depreciated considerably in value. So somewhat reluctantly you take the suit, hand him the $395 check and the $5 cash, and agree to give him your jeans after you have put on the kosher Baptist suit made in the United States.
Then, after you have changed into the kosher Baptist suit made in the United States, and have given the man your jeans, which were not made in the United States but were of better quality than most made in the United States, you make your way to the main auditorium. This time you are allowed to enter; but the church members seem to recognize that you are not one of them and they treat you like dirt.
The sermon that morning is a sermon on the evils of association with Roman Catholics and on the evils of association with foreigners, especially Canadians. As you are coming out of church that morning, you see one of the members of the Kosher Southern Baptist church carrying the jeans you had sold for $5. You ask him where he got them. He tells you that he bought them in the prayer chapel after the church service for $20.