Summary: The Temple of God had a place for you and I called the Court of the Gentiles. It was a place for all the Non-Jewish people could gather. God provided a place for people just like us even though we are not Jewish.
Getting Thrown Out
Have you ever been thrown out from somewhere?
I mean really, here’s your hat get moving we want you out of here kind of thing?
Maybe you got thrown out of your brother or sisters room or maybe you got thrown out of a car and lost your ride?
But here we have Jesus throwing people out of church – The Temple to be exact.
Wow that is a different look for Jesus isn’t it?
Well I can tell you that those folks deserved being tossed out for what they did to God’s Temple.
You see the Temple was divided up into sections just like the Old Testament Tabernacle was.
God had ordered the design of both and laid out each section.
The Temple of God had a place for you and I called the Court of the Gentiles.
It was a place for all the Non-Jewish people could gather.
God provided a place for people just like us even though we are not Jewish.
It happened to be beside the Court of the Lepers and the wood pile for sacrifices but we had a spot.
Now what happened got Jesus so upset that He turned tables upside down and chased merchants out the gate.
All this went down just before Passover the time when Jews remembered how God had passed over their sins and saved them from slavery in Egypt.
There were several issues here that made Jesus react.
Merchants were using space that was reserved for Gentile worshipers.
Even before Jesus died on the cross God the Father invited everyone to know Him including Gentiles.
That is one reason why they were allowed into the Temple court of the Gentiles but they could go no further under penalty of death.
“The entire Temple compound was considered holy, but it became increasingly more holy as one entered further in, from east to west.
King Herod had enclosed the outer court with colonnades and it was referred to as the Court of the Gentiles because the "gentiles" (non-Jews) were permitted to enter the Temple area.
They could walk within in it but they were forbidden to go any further than the outer court.
They were excluded from entering into any of the inner courts, and warning signs in Greek and Latin were placed that gate warning that the penalty for such trespass was death.
The Romans permitted the Jewish authorities to carry out the death penalty for this offence, even if the offender were a Roman citizen.” Source:
Jesus could not believe what He was seeing how people were intentionally squeezed out of the Temple so merchants could squeeze in livestock and other things.
To top that off the Bankers were set up in there exchanging money since Jews from all over the world of that time had come to worship.
Just like today they set the rate of exchange for the Temple Tax coins etc.
The rates were not always favorable.
The thing of it is – that people who were sincere about meeting God at the Temple were being pushed away, cheated and tricked by people who saw an opportunity to rip them off.
A similar thing happens today with Televangelists offer a prayer cloth or holy oil or holy water or other such things instead of offering you a way to know the Holy and Living God.
That is what frosted Jesus that day.
God the Father deserved to be worshiped but phony religious types were blocking the very door to the Temple.
Earlier Jesus had walked past a fig tree.
It was showing signs of having fruit since it was in leaf.
But there was no fruit on it.
Jesus cursed the tree just as He will curse anyone who pretends that He is bearing fruit for the Kingdom of God but is not.
These merchants pretended to be offing a religious service by selling animals for sacrifice and exchanging coins for the Temple tax but in actual fact were only interested in profiting off of people who were intending to worship God at the Temple.
Friends we best take a look in the mirror.
Do we look like a Christian?
Do we talk and walk like a Christian?
Is the fruit of the Spirit evidenced in our lives?
If not we best get right with God and stop pretending that were something that we are not.
Jesus will have none of that.
Some of us are as bad as the merchants.
We live like we are selling Christianity on one hand but we deny living it on the other.
Did you know that there are people who go to church only because they hope to do business with this person or that company?
God’s church, God’s temple is not a place of human commerce.