Profits of Doom

The Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple he found those who were selling oxen and sheep and pigeons, and the money-changers sitting there. And making a whip of cords, he drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and oxen. And he poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables. And he told those who sold the pigeons, “Take these things away; do not make my Father’s house a house of trade.” His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for your house will consume me.” John 2:13-27.

Another plausible translation is, “jealousy for your house.” This would be consistent with God’s declaration in His giving of the ten commandments, about serving other gods. “You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the LORD your God am a jealous God…” (Exodus 20:5).

What offended Jesus was that commerce was taking place in a space that was reserved for God alone. Never mind that it was for “a good cause,” selling animals for the offering and exchanging pagan currency for sanctified cash. It diminished the holiness of God’s house.

It would be a good sign if it pricked our consciences when we sold raffle tickets in the church. A more conscientious devotion is part of a zealous protection of God’s glory and honor.

2 thoughts on “Profits of Doom”

  1. As always, excellent post with relevant points. I have often wondered why we think it is okay to use God’s house for buying and selling when Jesus was clearly upset by that same practice.

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