I was reading the account of Jesus driving the moneychangers out of the temple in John 2 this morning. The synposis:
- Moneychangers are in the temple selling sacrifices to the temple--at exorbitant prices--cheating the people.
- Jesus comes in and begins throwing their tables over and driving them out and driving the animals out with a whip.
- He tells them, "My house will be called a house of prayer. Stop making My Father's house a place for your own profit!"
- The disciples remember the scripture, "Jealous devotion for God's house consumes me."
- The Jews ask, "Who gives you the right to shut us down. If it is God, then show us a sign."
- Jesus says, "If you destroy this temple, I will rebuild it in 3 days. He was talking about the true temple--his body.
I asked God to teach me what this means for me...today. And He began reminding me of some things. I Corinthians tells me that my body is the temple of God. Whenever I choose to follow Jesus, my life becomes His and my body becomes His temple. So...it's also possible for "moneychangers" to enter the temple of God (me) and rob me. The psalmist says he'd rather be a gatekeeper in the house of God than live a wealthy life in the tents of the wicked. We are that gatekeeper!! We are to guard what goes into our minds. II Corinthians 10:5 says to "..take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ..." Whatever we allow into the temple of God (our body and soul--mind, will, emotions) can either bring worship to God or contaminate the temple.
So...who are the moneychangers? Satan and his demons. They are constantly lying to us. When we don't take thoughts captive, we're basically inviting their lies into our minds to set up shop. And they come in with thievery, distortion, and cheating. At first, it was hard for me to wrap my mind around this. But God just told me to examine my life. It seems I'm constantly discovering lies I've believed which God is helping me remove from my life. For instance, I've always thought I'm not an emotional person. But God recently took me back to two different incidences in my life where I was laughed at because of my emotions at a young age--and I learned to put a lid on it. When I began to believe that lie, what was stolen from my life? Emotions--to worship God. I've bottled up emotions out of fear of being ridiculed. And the only ones ridiculing me were the enemy. And there were bigger lies that I allowed to set up shop. I believed that I was bossy (and really was!). But I believed I would never change. So instead of someone helping me to understand how to turn that into leadership, I just tried to keep from being bossy--all on my own. I never took that thought captive to the obedience of Christ. As a result, my potential was stolen. Who God created me to be was distorted. I was cheated out of my purpose. What did the moneychangers profit? Their side "won" by keeping God's kingdom from reaching full potential and expanding like He wanted. Their main goal is to keep people from coming to Christ. But if people do come to Christ, they want to make sure they never fully understand their power and authority in the kingdom of God.
Jealous devotion for God's house consumes Jesus. He wants complete control. He wants the moneychangers driven out! And he again wants the temple cleansed and to become a house of prayer--of worship--which was His very original intent. " It's better to be a gatekeeper in the house of God..." takes on a whole new meaning.