If you have read the introduction in Part 1 then you know that I am seeking to list some of the 1,050 commands from God to believers to obey. In doing this I am reading the 4 Gospels in a harmony of the Gospels so that I get the chronological order of the commands we are to follow.
COMMAND # 1: DON'T MAKE GOD'S HOUSE (YOUR BODY) A DEN OF THIEVES.
The first command is seen in John 2:13-18. Our Lord had already been baptized by John the Baptist and He done His first miracle in Cana at the wedding. Our Lord entered Jerusalem and it was the Feast of Passover. Our Lord knew that three years from this date He would be crucified outside of the very city He just entered.
John 2:13 ESV The Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
When He entered the Temple area there where those who exchanged money and sold animals for sacrifice offerings. He made a whip and chased the money changers and animals out of the Temple area and then turned their tables over.
John 2:14-15 ESV In the temple he found those who were selling oxen and sheep and pigeons, and the money-changers sitting there. (15) And making a whip of cords, he drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and oxen. And he poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables.
Our Lord then made a proclamation concerning the house of the Lord which is a quote from Ps.69:9.
John 2:16-17 ESV And he told those who sold the pigeons, "Take these things away; do not make my Father's house a house of trade." (17) His disciples remembered that it was written, "Zeal for your house will consume me."
How is this a command and what does it say to us today?
God's house is no longer a Temple in Jerusalem. His house is built within every believer. We as believers are the Temple of the Most High. We are set apart by God for God and therefore we are not to allow money changers to by and sell through us. We re not hirelings that would sell out, (Read John 10). We are called to holiness and God's zeal for us still burns.
Far to many Christians today have sold out their lives to the world and worldly pleasures. But that is not the worst of the sin being committed. The reason the money changers where in the Temple with the animals was because people were commanded to bring a sacrifice offering for their sins to the Temple. They had to travel many miles and some for many days and weeks to get to Jerusalem for the Feast of Passover.
Instead of bringing their FIRSTFRUIT offering and giving it as their sacrifice, they made the trip without animals, making the trip easier. Then they would purchase a far less quality of animal from the money changers and give it as their sacrifice at the Temple.
They took the path of least resistance to bring a sacrifice that cost them the least amount. We see this in the body of Christ today. People want to bring something to Christ and to the Father but end up bringing that which costs them the least in time, money and effort.
Charles Morris. Founder and Senior Pastor of RSI Ministry, RSI School of Ministry, and RSI Publishing L.L.C..