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. And he told those who sold the pigeons, “Take these things away; do not make my Father’s house a house of trade.” John 2:15-16
Imagine a Gentile approaching one of the traders in the temple, asking to have a word with him: “What can I do for you?”
“This court is meant for people who have come to seek after God, and since it’s so crowded, I’d like to ask you to move out.”
Not a chance! Once the traders moved in, nobody could get them out. Ordinary people didn’t have the power, and the temple leaders, who had the authority, didn’t want to. But the coming of Christ brings a purge. He will not allow the traders to take the place that belongs to God alone.
Notice Jesus doesn’t destroy them. He drove out the animals, but he did not release the pigeons: “Take these things away” (2:16). The traders would soon catch up with their animals, but if Christ had released the pigeons, there would be no way to get them back. Christ takes great care not to destroy their livelihood. He merely drives it out from the place where it does not belong.
Jesus was not saying, “You cannot be in business.” He was saying, “Your business cannot take the place of God.” No one could do anything about the traders, until Jesus.
Do you think Jesus has the power to do something about the competing demands for God’s place in your life?