“Do not make My Father’s house a house of merchandise!” (John 2:16)

March 3, 2023

Holy temple is the house of God. It is the place for the Arc of the Covenant, where the Divine Liturgy and Holy Communion (the flesh and blood) is performed. Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ has built His house by sacrificing His blood upon the Holy Cross.

Amid the apostasy era, Lord Jesus was preaching in the City of Jerusalem to attend the Passover feast with the 12 apostles. It is in scripted as “Now the Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. And He found in the temple those who sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the money changers doing business. When He had made a whip of cords, He drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen, and poured out the changers’ money and overturned the tables. And He said to those who sold doves, “Take these things away! Do not make My Father’s house a house of merchandise!” Then His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for Your house has eaten Me up.” So the Jews answered and said to Him, “What sign do You show to us, since You do these things?” Jesus answered and said to them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” Then the Jews said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?” But He was speaking of the temple of His body.” (John 2:13-20)

Lord Jesus Christ’s rage over those changers was for their negligence and disobedience for the word of God. They chose their personal benefit instead of valuing the house of the Lord. His words of anger confirmed exactly this notion. So should not we notice His warrant and obey His words? Yes we should! God’s words are without any flaws and shell be obeyed without any hesitation.

Unfortunate to this generation though since we are defying His rule and law. Many local churches sell not only just candles, incenses and others holy scriptures in and around the churches but also house equipment’s, clothing’s and merchandises. Specifically, on holidays, it seems like those changers that our Lord Jesus rebuked with rage have come back again. Might it be with lack of knowledge or due to negligence, ignorance and/or disobedience, the changers surround the church not to commemorate the day but to gain profit from their selling. This has become very common in our country Ethiopia in particular to the capital city Addis Ababa and other towns.

Brethren, what do you think our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ would think whilst He watches the day He blessed and sanctified rather than being celebrated have become a marker place? If not would He come and rebuke with rage, His bringing innumerable sorts of pandemic, plagues, tornados and tribal wars upon us, is His reflection towards all our sinful acts. Would it be not for His patience and mercy; He would have destroyed us all!

It is reckoned those with the realization of this truth at least feel the bit of regret and fright of the Lord’s punishment after His judgment. All created in the image and likeness of Holy Trinity are believed to be put to trail on judgment day. Understanding this and with repentances, mankind necessitates to purify his soul in living under the house of God; His temple on earth and Kingdom in the Heavens.

Dear brethren, it is always essential for humans to remember following the law of God as He is our father who abides us. It is with His will and mercy that we exist, have home to shelter, food and drink to survive and clothe for the cold. If it is not His will, having a breath to breathe would even be put to question.

These valuables might not be noticed as we have them for free but their value is not embraced by the money we purchase other things. God does not make us pay for the eyes we see with, for the nose we breath in or for the hands and legs we move by; or any of our body part. Have you ever consider this? I doubt! Most of us are hectic in our routines that keep us occupied in worldly gears blinding our vison towards the soul. But our soul also need to be fed, clothed and nurtured. How do we feed our soul? It is by prayer, fasting, diligence and eating the flesh and drinking the blood of the Holy Son. We clothe her by first cleansing with reentrance and becoming Christians in Christ.

This is foremost done in the Lord Jesus Christ’s house whom have built for the all Christians to live under His shelter, walking on the path of life carrying the cross in becoming one in Him. We shall abide all the rule of Church cleansing her from any kinds of grime that our Lord despises including infesting His temple.

Especially on the third week of the Great Lent, we need to reckon His words of rage that warranted the changers on those days, whilst their sinful act around the temple. Even if we might have known, today is the day to regret our harmful act and repent pleading God to forgive us. It is clear we must not blend our worldly desire and pleasure with the spiritual life. We have to seize in defying the Lord’s word to the changers as it said to all who live in the house of God.

May God have mercy on us, Amen!