house of prayer
market place


Sunday Reflection


7th March 2021

...In their greed they have...

"You have taken
  my Father's house,
  and you've turned it into
  a market place.

....John 2:16

In our Old Testament reading
set for today God, having
rescued his people from slavery,
now gives them the Ten Commandments.

A set of rules to offer guidance
for freedom and right-living,
rather than oppression and burden

The Gospel, however,
indicates that many have not
remained faithful to
God's commandments.
In their greed they have
turned God's house
into a marketplace.

When we hear this gospel,
it takes us by surprise.
The thought of Jesus taking
a whip and driving people out
with anger and almost desperation
in his voice seems so unlike him;
the one who is so 'meek and mild',
patient, kind and forgiving
and all these things that we
expect of him, and,
all of a sudden, here is
a different Jesus;
it seems that he's lost
his temper, big time.

Is there any way out of this?
No, there isn't.
Jesus loved this house of God.

Do you remember the story in
Luke's gospel 2:39-52 of the
little boy Jesus,
who went to the temple for the
first time?

He went with his mother
and his father and he was so
fascinated by the temple
that he stayed there.

And his parents went away
and then they realised they'd
lost him and they came
running back and they found him
sitting in the temple
with the elders,
asking and answering questions.

And now grown to manhood,
Jesus walked into the temple
and he saw what had happened to it.

He saw a shopping area;
people hungry with greed
to make money.
And he said;

"You have taken my Father's house,
  and you've turned it into
  a market place."

....John 2:16

He was overcome by righteous
anger as he took up a whip
and he drove them out;
but these are the people
who didn't deserve the whip
or the driving out.

It was those who are in charge,
the high priests who allowed this
to take place in their temple,
who should have known better
but were busy syphoning off money
for themselves and 'their' temple.

These traders were only
greedy little people trying
to make money,
they didn't care where
they made it.
And Jesus knew that
and that's why his answer
is so strange.

When the chief priests came up
to him and say,

"By what authority
  do you do this?"

and he said, very strangely,

"Destroy this temple
  and in three days I will
  raise it up again."


He was talking about his body.
He knew, as he looked at them
and the people around him;
if they could do this to God's temple,
then one day they would take him
and he would be the sacrifice;
they would crucify him.

But he also knew his Scriptures
and that God Himself, his Father,
was sending him to lay his life down
that he might redeem the world
and to open another chapter in
God's relationship with humankind,
a chapter that would reach to
the far ends of the earth.

God Himself became man.
No one can say that he did not know
what it meant to be a human being,
to suffer pain,
to have expectations shattered and,
to have to face a terrible death.
He knew that in his heart.

And this was the cause of
his great feeling.
"Why, why, why can they not
learn to love?
Why must they act this way?
Why must they hurt each other?
Why must they take the great
goodness of God Himself
and turn it into a
corrupt market place?"
That is why he wept over Jerusalem.

The love of God drove him on
and allowed him to understand;
just as he said from the cross,
"Father, forgive them.
They know not what they do."

.....Luke 23:34

This is where we meet him
today and this is where we begin
to look into our own lives.

Because Jesus has come to us
in our lives;
he has come to be with us,
to encourage us, to heal us.

How will we respond to him?

It may be interesting to watch,
or just listen to a song
'A New Commandment '
sung by Divine Hymns
(Lyrics Video)
via the link shown below.