Today’s passage gives us a portrait of the zeal Jesus had for God the Father and God’s house, the Temple. The Old Testament Temple was the place where God was worshipped. One the ways the people were commanded to worship was through sacrifices. The money changers that Jesus disbanded sold sacrificial animals to far off travelers who had come to Jerusalem to worship The Lord so that they wouldn’t have to transport their sacrificial animals a long distance. While the physical act of what they were doing (providing a convenience service for travelers) wasn’t necessarily wrong or sinful, these merchants were actually hindering people from worshipping God by turning the Temple courts into a marketplace. Not only that, this practice was sanctioned and more or less orchestrated by the Priests themselves; the very ones who should have been seeking to uphold the sanctity and purity of the Temple helping people to focus on God and worship Him. These Priests were destroying people’s relationship with God, not leading them to God and helping them know Him.
This is a stark contrast to Jesus, the great High Priest. When asked by what authority He was doing these things, Jesus refers to Himself. It would be His life, death, and resurrection that would completely shatter any hindrance for man to get to God! Jesus not only cleansed the Temple from the sin that entangled people coming to worship at that time; Jesus destroyed sin once and for all, cleansing us from it thus becoming the only High Priest we would ever need again.
One practical application of this passage today is that there are wolves in sheep’s clothing present in our world. There are those who claim to be pastors, prophets, and people of God who are out for their own monetary gain and fame. Jesus warns believers about this in Matthew 7:
Matthew 7:15-16 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them.
We are called to worship Jesus alone and to further His kingdom! Anyone who tries to implore you to further their kingdom in the name of God is a false prophet. Take a hard look at their fruit and always stand firm on God’s Word and what it says, not on what any man might say. Jesus is our great High Priest and He is worthy of all our worship today. Spend some time praising Him for His holiness and for making a way for you to worship God in Spirit and truth.
By: Matt Mofield