Remember our text - John 2:13-17.
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!”
Look closer, do you see who Jesus was angry at? We can see the heart of God in His response here. In this text, we can see that our Lord was irritated by the actions of the merchants/money changers. He was not angry at the people who were coming to buy something. The people were simply trying to get their needs filled…much like us when we run to Walmart or Target for groceries.
You know, what it is like when you have a need. You have to get it filled…a prescription, a certain type of bottled water, a cut of meat for a favorite dish…you know your must have thing!
In the living text above, see the people’s needs. See their religious devotion to God. During that time, there were certain rules that had to be followed by the Jews in accordance to worship at the Temple (See the Books of Deuteronomy, Leviticus and Numbers for more information). See their passionate hearts, they just wanted to give an offering to the ONE who is worthy of all worship and adoration! So, they went to the merchants to buy what they needed to worship at the Temple of God.
But the merchants were making the Temple of God into a House of Merchandise and not a House of Prayer. It became a market for selling goods to the highest bidder. Imagine a contest going on for who could make the most money off of the people of God. Imagine, an old lady giving her last so that she could worship God with her offering. Imagine, that same old lady being given a goat with a broken leg in exchange for her last. It was defective, not the best offer. This would be against God's rules of Worship. I just wanted to give you a better picture of what was going on in the Temple. Now, you can see why our Lord was irritated. He knew that they all knew better that to do this in God’s House, to cheat the people of God who just wanted to worship God. But the merchants were driven by lust for money, and greed…driven by a need for more.
Needs, we all have them. Some are physical needs like lights, clean water, shelter, clothing, etc. and others are needs that come from our souls – the need to be respected/love, the need to be valued, the need to be successful and on and on. These needs are our must haves. We are always looking for ways to fill them. Many people are selling their souls to get their needs filled. They are buying the devils’ merchandise. He has no new merchandise. It’s the same old, tired merchandise – fame, fortune and prestige, along with the lure of a good time with no consequences…all merchandise of destruction to the human soul. (See 1 John 2:16) Its destructive because it is done outside of God’s will, His direction and His boundary of protection. When we take our eyes’ off of Jesus, this merchandise of fame, fortune, and prestige looks good. It appeals to us. We want it! We want it all...we want all that this world has to offer or do we? Could it be that we really just want our needs met?
But remember, this merchandise has a price on it's tag …nothing is free!
True love has a price…the pursuit, patient waiting, commitment. Education has a price…hard work, diligent study. Health has a price…good eating, exercise, yearly check ups and treatment plans. Success has a price…patience, mastery of knowledge, building a team and lessons learned from failure. Good relationships have a price…trust, honest communication, and mutual respect.
The Merchandise of Souls, The Merchandise of your Soul…your actions, your behaviors, your needs…your Merchandise, your Soul.
What price have you put on your SOUL?
Is your soul on the clearance rack of Life…ready for someone who looking for a good deal or a good time with no consequences?
Or maybe your soul is on display on the showroom floor of Life…much like a mannequin to be admired and touched but empty on the inside with needs unmet?
But what if you saw your soul as the precious gem -- that is irreplaceable, much like The Famous Hope Diamond…to be admired by all but only given to the ONE who is worthy?
You know The ONE who can pay whatever is ask…The ONE who understands your value. The ONE who knows that you are rare…
As of now, The Hope Diamond is priceless. There is no value that can be placed on it because there is nothing else like it in the world. It has no defect. It is perfect. Click the link for more information on The Hope Diamond - https://www.worthy.com/blog/knowledge-center/diamonds/the-hope-diamond/.
Think about your soul…What if you gave your soul precious with its needs to the Father, the ONE who created it. The ONE who said it is good! It is exceptional! It is perfect! Nothing is wrong with you! You do not have to let people put a box around your mind with their perception of who they think you should be but rather let ME crown your thoughts with who I created you to be…
Let that sink in your mind…You are of exceptional quality! You are not for sale on the clearance rack of life. You are not a mannequin on the showroom floor to be admired and touched by every stranger. NO, You, my dear, are the Beloved Daughter of God! Your soul is like that Hope Diamond!
This is a picture of The Hope Diamond.
Crowning Thoughts: I will see my soul as The Hope Diamond. I am a precious Gem. I am Irreplaceable. I am admired by all who come in contact with me. I am Worthy of good things. I am Valued. I am Priceless.
Treasure Chest Gem: Psalm 139:14
I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well.