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  • Writer's pictureEast Martin CRC

Cracking the Whip

John 2:13-16

Verse 15  So He made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple courts, both sheep and cattle; He scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables.

 

    Yesterday we mentioned how the miracle of turning water into wine at the wedding revealed His glory for the first time and caused His disciples to believe in Him.  It was necessary for them to believe in Him before seeing His actions once they arrived in Jerusalem.  Had they not already believed in Him they may have left Him when they saw His response to the activities in the Temple.

 

    Over the years there were some men who had found an opportunity they couldn’t resist, making money on all those coming into the city for the festival who would find it easier to buy a sacrificial animal in the city than bringing one on the long journey.  While the idea wasn’t a totally bad idea, there were two ways it was not a godly idea – it allowed them to set the price they wanted which led to gouging prices and it was being done in the Temple courts instead of a market.

 

    The animal dealers weren’t the only opportunists using the festival to pad their money pouches, there were money changers who would help the men coming in to pay the Temple tax which had to be paid with Jewish coins.  With all the travelers coming from so many distant regions it was necessary to have money changers but these men were charging more than necessary for their services.

 

    While Jesus wouldn’t have approved of the taking advantage of others, the thing which really upset Him was the fact they were doing it in the Temple.  The Temple had a very specific purpose and it wasn’t for making money.  The fact these activities were allowed showed the uphill battle with the religious leaders Jesus had even at the beginning of His ministry.  The people had become so consumed with the law they had deserted the heart and spirit behind it, leaving the Temple open for the worship of money.

 

    This scene shows the passion Jesus had for the things of God.  By flipping tables, scattering coins across the floor and cracking the whip and sending animals and people scattering, Jesus was trying to make His point clear to all there to see and hear it.  This was God’s Temple and they were desecrating it.  Had His disciples not had their new found belief in Him because of the wedding wine miracle, this radical behavior could have scared them away and had them looking for another teacher to follow.

 

Making It Personal

    Are there teachings of Jesus which make you squirm?  Why do you struggle with them?  Are there things in your life which Jesus would “turn the tables” on?

 

Making It Personal Kids

    What would you think if you went to church and someone had turned it into a store?  What is the church supposed to be for?  Do you like to learn, sing and pray at church?

 

Closing Prayer

    Father, thank You for this reminder of how we should treat things which are Yours.  Help us remember we are Yours too and the temple of our bodies should be used as You desire.  In Jesus’ name, amen.

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