Pastor's Corner: Matthew 21:12-13 Then Jesus went into the temple of God and drove out all those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold droves. 13 And He said to them,"It is written, 'My house shall be called a house of prayer' but you have made it a den of thieve.'"
Jesus on this last week prior to Him going to the cross and being crucified enters into the temple and lo and behold what does he find, money tables set up selling animals in the temple to be sacrificed at high outrages prices. See in those days people would come from miles away, hundreds of miles away to come to the temple during this passover time and make sacrifices. When they arrived at the temple their animals would be inspected by the priests and guess what usually happened, they the priest would find some flaw, a blemish, or something wrong with the animal therefore disqualifying the animal from being used as a sacrifice. The priest would then tell the individual that we have one back here that has already passed inspection that you may buy. The price though was outrageous, yet they had traveled so far they had to pay the price in order to make the sacrifice.
Jesus after riding into Jerusalem on the back of the donkey, the crowd crying,"Hossana Glory to God in the Highest, blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord," thinking He was their political Messiah, thinking Jesus would be kicking the Romans out at any time actually goes to the place they held in the highest regard the temple. Jesus then turns over the money tables and tells them that 'My house shall be called a house of prayer' but you have made it a den of thieves.'" They had turned the temple into their profit making business ripping off the people of God. Jesus goes in and turns over the tables and causes such a stir in the temple. Interesting because three years prior to this we see Jesus doing the same thing as recorded in John chapter 2. The temple of the Most High was not made to be a place to rip the people off but was to be a place a prayer. Jesus does something radical here and totally disrupts their world.
Looking at this passage it would be easy for us to apply this to our lives by saying we shouldn't rip off people but I think we can apply this more personally and intimately. The apostle Paul says the following, 1 Corinthians 6:19Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? See Paul tells us that our body's, contrary to cultural opinion are not ours but are the temple of the Holy Spirit and then he says in 1 Thessalonians 5:17 pray without ceasing. You see our bodies are the temple, this is His house and His house is to be a house of prayer. You see the Lord wants that oneness with us, that intimacy with us, communion with us, Jesus wants His house, our bodies which belong to Him to be a house of prayer. So many times in our lives we allow the money tables to come in to the temple when our focus is on the dough and not getting ready go, or other things that we allow to creep in and take over the temple ripping His people off from the intimacy, the worship that you can only have with the True and Living God. Jesus though in His grace, His mercy, and His love will come into our temples and over turn the tables. Notice in the Gospel of John chapter 2 He turns over the tables once then in the Gospel of Matthew we see Him three years later doing it again. The Lord loves us too much to just let the tables be, He will turn them over and He will do it again if He needs to. Ask yourself this question today, is your house a house of prayer or has it become a den of thieves ripping you off?