Monday, February 15, 2021
“And he went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold therein, and them that bought; Saying unto them, It is written, My house is the house of prayer: but ye have made it a den of thieves” (Luke 19:45,46 KJV).
There were swindlers in “God’s house” then—just like today!
Recently, I heard from a man whose elderly father had just died. The late man had a clear testimony of salvation in Jesus Christ. (I talked with him years back.) Yet, a cult had captivated him, and he had moved far away from his family to attend “church services” there. For over a decade, he supported that woman preacher financially. When he graduated to Heaven, his son took over his estate and went through his personal records. As it turned out, that dear soul was giving a mandatory 25% of his annual income to that church. According to his last will and testament, 40% of his remaining fortune will go to fund the “church”—leaving his son very little inheritance!
Sadly, religion is “big bu$ine$$.” The amount of wealth taken from people under the guise of “church,” “Bible,” and “God” is far greater than the sum of every bank heist, every company embezzlement, and every purse-snatching. Surely, the Lord will absolutely not let people get away with such dishonesty. In fact, according to today’s Scripture, He exposed them in—and evicted them from—the Jerusalem Temple.
They were charging outrageous amounts for sacrificial animals… the very offerings the poor people needed to purchase for worship as per the Mosaic Law. Furthermore, officials working under the priests exchanged foreign currencies for the Jewish shekel—and they gave back far less than the equivalent. That is, “Do not defile God’s house with your pagan coins bearing idolatrous images! Come ‘exchange’ them for the shekel, and buy your sacrifices from us. Our fees are ‘quite reasonable!’” (Such hypocrisy.)
Hence, after today’s Scripture, “And [Jesus] taught daily in the temple. But the chief priests and the scribes and the chief of the people sought to destroy him, And could not find what they might do: for all the people were very attentive to hear him.” How furious they were once Jesus put them out of bu$ine$$!