Summary: I have often wondered just what Jesus would have seen that day that caused so much righteous anger to rise up within him? Surely these Moneychangers and Shopkeepers were no more frustrating to Jesus than so many of the religious leaders he had encountered throughout His ministry!
TITLE: NOT IN MY HOUSE!
We have entered into our Third Sunday of Lenten season and preaching around the central theme – “MARCHING TOWARDS CALVARY.” When I read this text a few weeks ago in preparation of this morning’s message, my mind immediately began to focus on our local NBA Team OKC Thunder. Although this season has been filled with injury, the team made strong trades to help turn the season around and make the playoffs. They have subsequently had a tremendous second half amassing the longest winning streak in the NBA which did come to an end on last Thursday.
After one particular home game two weeks ago – Serge Ibaka – who plays a Power Forward and Center position was interviewed after a tremendous win. He was asked why is it that he and the OKC Thunder play so well at home at the Chesapeake Center? Ibaka in essence stated that other teams don’t come to his home court and beat the Thunder, he ended the interview by saying – Not In My House.
• That implied some things are not allowed in their house
• That implied there is a different standard in their house
• That implied that take special pride in their house
• That implied they don’t lose – Not In My House
When I view the text for examination this morning, I believe we see the same principle at work – Not In My House! Let’s travel through the text together. The shouts of Hosanna still rang loudly in ears of the citizens of Jerusalem on that first Palm Sunday. A large gathering of people were on hand to see Jesus as he rode into the city as the King of Peace on the back of a colt. Jesus continued down the dusty streets while the disciples and the rest of crowd fell in behind him in a long processional until he finally came to the Temple.
I think that it is worthy to note as Jesus came to the Temple that it was to the place that was built according to His own design and by His own Order and that was dedicated to his worship, where the glory of God rested upon the mercy seat in the Holy of Holies.
• He did not go to the Tower of David which was the stronghold of Zionism in the city to set up a garrison of power
• Jesus had no designs to build an earthly kingdom
• But he did have great plans for his own house
• After all, this was his house and he entered the temple through the Eastern Gate, or the King’s Gate, because he was the King, reigning over his own kingdom
Upon entering the temple grounds Jesus’ first encounter was with the Court of the Gentiles.
• This was the area of the temple grounds where Gentiles could come to shop - to pay homage to the God of Israel - or satisfy their curiosity
• But they were allowed to go no farther without obedience to all of the ceremonial law
• In the Court of the Gentiles the Jews had set up a marketplace - a mall of sorts, where all manner of sacrificial animals and offerings could be purchased
It was at that moment that we read what happened next. I have often wondered just what Jesus would have seen that day that caused so much righteous anger to rise up within him? Surely these Moneychangers and Shopkeepers were no more frustrating to Jesus than so many of the religious leaders he had encountered throughout His ministry! Why did Jesus lash out with such force against these business people who seemed to be actually doing a service to those who came to worship at the temple?
The one thing that keeps coming to mind is the scripture in 1 PETER 4:17, "FOR THE TIME IS COME THAT JUDGMENT MUST BEGIN AT THE HOUSE OF GOD: AND IF IT FIRST BEGIN AT US, WHAT SHALL THE END BE OF THEM THAT OBEY NOT THE GOSPEL OF GOD?" I think that here we find the key to why Jesus acted the way he did that day.
• God’s House is meant to be a house of prayer
• This building, this sanctuary is appointed by God, through the hearts of his people to be place where we can come together collectively, or individually, to meet with the Lord and to hear his Word
• And ultimately a Place of Prayer
The problem was these business men, those who ran the tables, who bought and sold sacrificial merchandise, had absolutely lost their reverence for the temple and what it stood for. They had turned something sacred and beautiful into a money-making scheme that took advantage of anyone who came into the temple area empty-handed.