As the Passover was drawing near and Jesus entered the temple, John 2
describes how Jesus was angered as he entered the temple.
Nothing made God more angry than religious hypocrisy throughout the ages, from the Old Testament to the New. When he saw the money changers taking advantage of the humble, dedicated worshippers, making profit from their faith, Jesus literally exploded. It was the only time that Jesus uses physical violence, and it is recorded in all four gospels.
John describes how he found them selling oxen, sheep, and pigeons while making profit. He made a whip from cords of the temple draperies, and started lashing the money changers, driving them out of the temple with their sheep and oxen.
As the Jews made their long journeys to the temple to offer their sacrifice and burn offering, there were many who took advantage of their faith by giving them the option to purchase the animals for their sacrifice. They were making a good profit for their trade by marking up the prices, knowing that the humble worshippers would be willing to pay more coins for a religious cause.
Jesus looked at all of the money stacked on their tables, and threw them over as the men were fleeing the temple. "Take these things away!" Jesus exclaimed in anger. "Do not make my Father's house a house of trade!"
His disciples then remembered that it was written, "Zeal for your house will consume me."
As Christians, we should ask ourselves: What are the motives of our religious leaders when they sell their sermons for profit, already having ample funds from your tithes? Why do some sell those sermons while others freely give them away to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ? Why do religious leaders and organizations put on big shows during Easter, with plenty of merchandise to sell? Are they doing this for the glory of God, or have they found a holiday that attracts most Christians to make their trek to worship? Why do some organizations sell cardboard boxes filled with trinkets that have nothing to do with Jesus Christ, marked up to an obvious profit? What would happen if Jesus were to come today? Now that the massive amounts of money are in banks instead of changing tables, would he call the power of God to overturn the world's banking system?
Take a look at our world's financial state today and ask yourselves these questions.