The Passover of the Jews was near, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple he found people selling cattle, sheep, and doves, and the money changers seated at their tables. Making a whip of cords, he drove all of them out of the temple, both the sheep and the cattle. He also poured out the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. He told those who were selling the doves, “Take these things out of here! Stop making my Father’s house a marketplace!” His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for your house will consume me.” -John 2:13-17
I recently read an opinion of this passage where the writer posited that Jesus was acting like a zealot when he drove out the marketeers. His point was that Jesus was motivated by something other than love. I reject that idea. As I read these sentences I see the love of Christ for those who were being abused by the temple market system. With each crack of the whip he was saying that religious leaders must not abuse the people whom he loves.
The temple was a symbol of God's presence - his earthly house. Seeing the corrupt system of religion at the temple angered the Lord. I think that God is often angered when it comes to religious leaders making a profit from religion. It is a good thing to remember when we gather with other believers. Do our religious practices help or hinder people coming into the presence of God? If Jesus showed up, would he enter in or break out a whip?
Open my eyes Lord to the ways that I have hindered myself and others from coming into your presence.
... this devotion is part of an ongoing series on the Gospel of John.