John 2:14-15

Context matters. Whether we are talking interpreting the Bible or what we are doing, context matters. Sometimes, what we normally do is fine, but in other situations those things are inappropriate. This is especially true when whatever it is comes into conflict with the holy. 

In the temple he found those who were selling oxen and sheep and pigeons, and the money-changers sitting there. And making a whip of cords, he drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and oxen. And he poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables. – John 2:14-15, ESV

Commentators are in debate whether those selling within the temple were being outrageous in their prices or not. However, there is no indication from the text that they were doing anything more than providing travelers with the animals needed for the sacrifices and the money changing services needed to carry out the financial transactions. Despite this fact, Jesus took action and cleared all the merchants and money changers out. 

We know the sellers were in the Outer Court, which means they weren’t interfering with the sacrifices or anything pertaining to the religious practices in the Temple. However, they were still on temple grounds. And that ground was holy. The whole complex was supposed to be dedicated to the worship and reverence of God. There were plenty of places in the city to sell. The temple wasn’t supposed to be one of those places. 

That’s the issue Jesus was dealing with. The practices of selling the animals for sacrifice wasn’t wrong in and of itself. However, where it was occurring was not right. Holy ground was being used for a mundane practice that wasn’t directly related to the worship of God Almighty. Therefore, Jesus took action. 

In our lives, we must be careful not to allow anything that is holy and set apart for God to come into conflict with anything else. To be holy means to be set apart and we must ensure that which is holy in our lives is set apart from anything else. Even if an action or practice is normally fine, it isn’t if it interferes with the holy. God deserves first place. What He has deemed holy must have similar treatment. 

What are you allowing in your life to get between you and God? What is interfering with your fellowship with other believers? What stops you or hinders you from being an active participant in the Kingdom? Set those things aside and embrace the holy. Let us give that which is of God and belonging to God the sovereign place it deserves in our lives. 

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