Then they came to Jerusalem. And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who were selling and those who were buying in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves; and he would not allow anyone to carry anything through the temple. He was teaching and saying, “Is it not written,
‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations’?
But you have made it a den of robbers.”
Words of Hope
The image of Jesus chasing out the money lenders in the Temple is one of my favorites. It is the kind of direct action that we rarely see Jesus take, and it is a very human reaction to an intolerable situation.
I have to admit in the past few years I have wanted to overturn a few tables myself, mainly of corrupt politicians and public officials. But Jesus was incensed for a different reason. The Temple of Jesus’ time had become a big business and often used its wealth to make loans to the poor, further oppressing them. Selling doves and animals for sacrifice and exchanging money was a way to take advantage of people who could least afford it and essentially place a price on entry into the house of God.
I truly believe that the Church must be free and open to all who seek God’s grace and blessing, yet it must also be able to function and support the works it does in the community. It’s a bit of a balancing act and one that often draws scrutiny from non-churchgoers. The truth is, it takes money to operate the institution, and that comes from the congregation. That’s why I give to our church, to make sure it can continue to function and be available to those who cannot afford to support it themselves. Keeping the Church a “house of prayer for all nations” is why I believe tithing is so important.
God, may I always keep faith with you and your church and give with a happy heart.