Matthew 21:12, 13 "Jesus entered the temple area and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. 'It is written,' he said to them, 'My house will be called a house of prayer, but you are making it a den of robbers.'"
Question: Why did Jesus drive out those who were buying, selling and money changing in the temple area? After all, were they not purchasing the doves for burnt offerings and sacrifices to God as commanded?
Reflection: I've been troubled lately at the amount of sales that goes on in the church to raise funds for this and for that. From the prevalence of bake sales and vending done within the church or right in front of the sanctuary on days when services, be it Sunday worship, Bible study, prayer meeting are typically held. I can't help but wonder how Jesus feels about all this? Even though in most cases our motives are pure, often times to raise money for the church activities or school activities - and I've been guilty myself. I just am becoming increasingly disturbed in spirit by the abundance of these activities without much thought as to how it affects those spiritually and physically sick and hurting who may be distracted by these activities when they enter or leave the house of God. Is the message that the house of God should be viewed and reverenced as a house of prayer being lost?
It started with car washes, tag sales and bake sales in the community rooms to now interjections during announcements on overhead TV Screens right after worship or before the Word is preached. Is anyone else bothered about all this? Do you see any similarity to Matt. 21:12-13? Have we now become more dependent on natural commerical means to provide for our church programming rather than on faith in prayer? A couple other scripture references that come to mind are: Isaiah 55:8-9, "'For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,' declares the Lord. As high as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts." Also, Proverbs 3:5- 6, which says, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and he will direct your paths."
These are just some thoughts that have been coming to mind. Your feedback would be appreciated.