Our Sunday School lesson today came out of Mark 11:15-17 and John 2: 12-17. It was about when the Passover was taking place. People were coming from near and far. Those who were traveling from afar had to purchase their sacrifices and gifts to God once they reached the City. Those who were selling these sacrifices and gifts decided to take advantage of that fact and they set up tables and stalls right inside the Temple of God. They also charged the people a lot more than they should have to pay for these sacrifices and gifts.
When Jesus entered into Jerusalem and learned what had been going on, He went to the temple and straight way, he made a scourge of small cords and he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers' money, and overthrew the tables; And said unto them that sold the doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father's house an house of merchandise. (John 2:12-17)
In Mark He said "Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer? but ye have made it a den of thieves. (Mark 11:15-17)
The Bible point for today was - God's House Is Holy. I was trying to teach the children that we are to respect God's House. We don't run through the sanctuary unless we are doing it in worship unto Him. We don't eat candy or other food or chew gum in the sanctuary. We do not bring drinks in the sanctuary as well. God's house is Holy and should be treated with utmost respect. Paper and Kleenex should not be thrown on the pews or floor. If we see these things that have been left behind by others then out of respect to God we should stop and pick it up and take it to the trash. Don't say "Oh well it's not mine!" and walk off and leave it for someone else to deal with. Do it as unto the Lord.
Zach, Johnathon, and Ashley asked several questions as to why did Jesus become so angry and isn't it wrong to get angry like that? I explained to them that the Bible says to be angry but sin not. Then They Asked "Didn't Jesus sin when He got so angry and drove them out like that? No! Jesus was angry with the way these individuals had disrespected the House of God and the reason He drove them out of the Temple was because they had defiled the House of God. I reminded them of our Bible Point - God's House Is Holy! He could not allow sin and disrespect to come into the temple and defile it. I explained to the students that when sin and things like that come into the House of God to bring destruction to His Temple they MUST be driven out at all cost even if force has to be used. He could not allow these things to take place in the House of God - the place of prayer - the Holy Place.
Caleb then asked a very important question "Why did Jesus destroy His own House?" Good question!!! The answer to that was He did not destroy His House but He destroyed what the money changers had brought into His House. He actually cleaned out His House. Then I explained to the students again exactly what Jesus did and why. I also explained to them that today God no longer requires the types of sacrifices once used in the Old Testament and we went over the different types of those sacrifices. But today, the type of sacrifice He wants is us - a living sacrifice. "I beseech you therefore brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service" Romans 12:1
As I sit here this afternoon and ponder the questions of these students, I realized that what Jesus did in the Temple is exactly what we must do within ourselves. When things come into our lives that ought not to be there, we MUST drive them out. For are we not the Temple of God? "Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?" 1 Corinthians 3:16 We must drive these things out with the same force that Jesus did on that day of the Passover. Unless we use the same force that He did, these things will keep returning back into our lives and we will have to keep battling them over and over again. If we don't get rid of them and destroy them they will destroy us.
The devil is out to kill, steal and destroy our walk with God. Beware! Anything that is not of God we need to remove it from our lives. We are the Temple of God and we MUST remain HOLY for He is HOLY. We must remember that we are the Temple of God and God's House is Holy.