John 2: 12-25: ‘Get these out of here.’
“12 After this he went down to Capernaum with his mother and brothers and his disciples. There they stayed for a few days. When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 In the temple courts he found people selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. 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. 16 To those who sold doves he said, ‘Get these out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a market!’ 17 His disciples remembered that it is written: ‘Zeal for your house will consume me.’ 18 The Jews then responded to him, ‘What sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this?’19 Jesus answered them, ‘Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.’20 They replied, ‘It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?’ 21 But the temple he had spoken of was his body. 22 After he was raised from the dead, his disciples recalled what he had said. Then they believed the Scripture and the words that Jesus had spoken.23 Now while he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Festival, many people saw the signs he was performing and believed in his name. 24 But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, for he knew all people. 25 He did not need any testimony about mankind, for he knew what was in each person.”NIV
There was quite a lucrative business going on in the Temple precincts. If you wanted to buy an animal for sacrifice it would cost you ‘an arm and a leg’. (Let’s face it, people travelling great distances to worship at the temple might not be able to bring one with them. They needed the opportunity to purchase a beast on site. But they got ripped off). Also, only Temple currency could be used there, and the exchange rate was exorbitant.
Jesus came to the Temple in the spirit of Malachi 3:1ff. He acted like the Temple was HIS. It was. He assumed the right to act in this way. This was not lost on the Jews. Only God had the ‘authority’ (18) to clean up the Temple. Jesus was (and is) God, and His resurrection demonstrates the fact (19). The Jews in this story totally misunderstood what He was saying (20). At His trial, these words were aggressively thrown back at Him. But Jesus did not say that He was going to destroy the Temple. He did know, however, that they were going to ‘destroy’ His body (which He refers to as ‘this temple’). Yet they would find Him to be indestructible.
What does Jesus ‘find’ today in His temple?
My body is His temple (1 Corinthians 6:19);
The local church is His temple (1 Corinthians 3:16, 17).
What does He find there that needs to change? He has the right to challenge and to change it.
He is Lord.
What needs to go?
‘Get these out of here.’
‘When he comes to dwell within us, he finds our hearts desecrated by unholy things which he quickly casts out. He sits as a refiner of silver; his fan is in his hand, and he thoroughly purges his floor.’ F.B. Meyer: Devotional Commentary,’ p.459.
Prayer: Lord show me what needs to go from my life. Help me to throw it out, in your strength.