I read Luke 19:45-46 this morning, and after re-reading it again tonight, I have clarity!
Jesus enters the Temple, as He usually does; however, this day is different! On this day, teachers are not . . . teaching! On this day, people are not . . . praying! On this day, true worship is taking a backseat! On this day, Jesus does not teach. On this day, Jesus does not heal. Instead, He erupts with a righteous anger and cleans out the temple!
What possibly could be going on inside the Temple to result in such a stern reaction from Jesus? Well, Jesus walks into a Temple auction! The leaders and the people are selling goods! Listen to these words spoken by Jesus: “It is written, ‘My house shall be a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a den of robbers” (Lk. 19:46 ESV). As these words fall upon the Temple, Jesus begins to “drive out those who sold” (Lk. 19:45 ESV).
Now one may ask, “How could the leaders ever allow such to happen?” I am certain most people reading this post would probably say, “I would never allow this to happen in my church!” At least this is what I hope most would say; however, the truth does not always correlate to a church’s actions!
What are you saying Mike? Well, I believe many churches have fallen victim to a consumer religion! Many times leaders . . . do . . . attempt to . . . sell . . . their church with a particular style of worship. At other times, leaders attempt to . . . sell . . . their church with a particular style of preaching. Some leaders and parishioners may even attempt to . . . . sell . . . their church with spirituality. The list could go on and on, but here is the point: Christians are not in the selling business; Christians are in the . . . giving business!
The selling of styles is a selfish act! After all, if a guest buys into the style being sold, who receives the gain? Yes, that is right, the person doing the selling! However, if a guest receives the free gift of grace, then who receives the gain? Yes, the Kingdom of God receives the gain! If Jesus freely gave of Himself for the Kingdom’s gain, then why would any Christian do otherwise?
I wonder . . . just wonder, how would Jesus act if He came into the Church where you worship this Sunday?