We have all been victims of paying too much for a bottle of water. It usually happens when we are at an expensive theme park, a ball game, or a concert where the facility knows that you have no other water options. As a result, a bottle of water that would normally cost $1.00 at your local grocery store now costs you $4.00 at the event you are attending.
But you need that water. So you reluctantly fork over the $4.00 per bottle for your party of 6!
On the Monday following his triumphal entry into Jerusalem, Jesus walked into the temple and saw something very similar. The Temple during Passover was a crowded time. Pilgrims were traveling into Jerusalem to celebrate and bring sacrifices and offerings to the Lord, but the outer courts of the Temple had become a marketplace. The vendors and moneychangers in this marketplace preyed on those who needed to purchase items for sacrifice.
According to my study, for example, “doves were required for the purification of women (Lev 12:6, Luke 2:22-24), the cleansing of those with skin diseases (Lev 14:22-24), and other purposes (Lev 15:13-14).” Pilgrims who were walking into the outer courts of the Temple would find doves available for purchase, but at much higher prices. They would also need to change their currency so they could give to the annual Temple tax. Moneychangers were well aware of this and took every advantage to shortchange people on the exchange.
Jesus saw this and couldn’t believe that this was being allowed so he took matters into his own hands.
When Jesus was throwing these moneychangers out of the Temple you can see why he said they had turned his Father’s house into a “den of robbers.” Not only were they robbing God’s people, they were also robbing the Temple of its sanctity.
It is clear from this action that Jesus has no place in his Kingdom for those who would take advantage of others. His Word, His Church, and His people are to follow the two commandments he established (Love the Lord your God and love your neighbor).
Jesus welcomes all people to the table. Every tribe and every nation. Rich or poor. Those who are sick and those who are strong. And no one should be “priced out” so that they can’t afford a place setting. After all, Jesus already paid the price. The job of the Church becomes one of ushering all who would believe to their seat.