Mar 4

Helen Tyte

Spoiled

Lots of us have special items which may not necessarily be worth a lot of money, but we love them dearly because of their sentimental value. Maybe you have kept a favourite toy, or a blanket, an ornament, or a piece of clothing. Something that was owned by a loved one, or something that reminds you of a special time in your life.

In our Junior Church last week (here in Bermuda), we learned about when Jesus went into the temple in Jerusalem and discovered that people were using the temple as a marketplace. Jesus was so cross with the situation that he turned the tables over and made the traders leave the temple. When I told the children about this they were conflicted, because it didn’t seem right to them that Jesus would get angry and do such a thing. I asked them the question: Have you ever had something you cared about get spoiled or totally ruined?

Jesus could see the merchants and money lenders destroying the holiness of the temple with their greed. It was approaching passover, and there were many pilgrims and visitors from out of town, all trying to worship in the temple, which would have included them purchasing sacrificial animals at extortionate prices from the stalls set up within the temple walls. Coins bearing the images of Roman emperors or Greek gods were banned from the temple, so any unacceptable coins had to be exchanged before the visitors could buy anything, and the unfair exchange rates meant huge profits. The high priest would have been ‘in on it’, and would have turned a blind eye as long as he was getting a percentage of the profits! It would also have been incredibly noisy as these transactions took place, ruining what should have been a peaceful time of worship. I’m sure that Jesus would not have believed his eyes and ears when he took in this scene.

The stall holders were desecrating the temple, God’s holy place, and Jesus needed to stop them spoiling what should have been special to them all.

Our bodies are God’s temple, God lives in us. Our sins are like the tables, and Jesus can help us turn them over so that we can become holy once more.

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