Summary: Churches today are dealing with the same things that they did in Bible times; and that is; man likes to mess up what God sets up!
(13) And the Jews’ passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem, (14) And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting: (15) And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables; (16) And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise. (17) And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up.
I. Churches today are dealing with the same things that they did in Bible times; and that is; man likes to mess up what God sets up!
A. The text takes place at The Jewish Temple which was roughly fifteen stories above the Kidron Valley. This place was huge, nearly 500 yards long and 400 yards wide. The outer court of the Temple was nearly the size of 48 College basketball courts.
1. The temple had become a veritable shopping mall. Pens of sheep, goats, doves, and other animals for sacrifice were everywhere. Moneychangers operated several of the tables. And in one sense, these merchants provided a needed service. Worshippers had come from great distances and they were expected to offer animal sacrifices and financial gifts at the Temple. And these pilgrims found it… convenient; instead of bringing their sacrifice with them they could just get it from someone else for a price.
2. What had started out as a convenience turned into a very profitable money making scheme. The priests and local politicians maintained strict control over franchises in the temple area, and they often demanded a kickback. Once merchants had a corner on the market, they felt free to do as they pleased. Moneychangers would charge high fees to exchange shekels for pagan coins and those who sold sacrificial animals would mark up their prices too. And just in case, someone got the wise idea to set up a competing market elsewhere and undercut the temple sellers, the priests had that covered too. Before an animal could be sacrificed it had to pass a temple inspection. And the priests would simply reject any animal that didn’t come from their licensed merchants.
B. The modern church in all its extravagance and need for relevance has done the same thing, it looks for ways to assist God and push its own agenda and views of scriptures.
1. Man has made church more than it was supposed to be… for example the Bible says, put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, tradition says that what you wear was an indication of your holiness, but that is legalism.
2. So many people in church get thrown out because of tradition and legalism. Now listen closely I am not against traditions in the church, but I am against it when it hinders the work of God and I am 100% against legalism. I am against those that will defend tradition over the Word of God. There are churches today that would rather preserve an image and don’t want any dead stinky sinners to linger in their beautiful edifice. They don’t give Jesus a chance to touch them they just throw them out. They are more worried about their carpet getting messed up, more concerned with church etiquette and enforcing it than a sinner finding a Savior. Whatever happened to we catch them and Jesus cleans them. There are people that are fighting hell when they come through the doors of the church; they don’t need to get hell from those from within it.
3. Just give me the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth. If the Bible says it I want to hear it, but if it’s your opinion on how God should have said it, just keep your mouth shut.
C. We got to many Ministers young and old picking and choosing what God intends for this church age. They have taken what God has established and flipped it for the purpose of popularity and notoriety. They want to be different and sell themselves as the “this ain’t your grandparents church”. In an attempt to be different they have sacrificed what matters most.
1. The Bible has everything we need to know, if God didn’t intend for us to follow this book to the letter, He would have left it out or placed an expiration date on it. God’s stance on sin has never changed; God’s ways are still the same, He said, “For I [am] the LORD, I change not”. Jesus said I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me; that has not changed.