This week is an important week in the history of the church.  It is a week that is jam packed with significance.


It starts with today – Palm Sunday, when Jesus enters into the city as a hero.  We will talk more about that today, so I don’t want to steal any of my own thunder.


It is usually accepted that this is the week when Jesus empties the Temple from those who were selling animals and changing money.  Even though it seems irregular to have animals and other business going on in the Temple, that was not the problem that Jesus was addressing.


The problem was the people doing it were cheating.  If you recall, part of the normal operation of the Temple was to receive offerings from the people; offerings of good will, forgiveness of sins, cleansing, etc.  All of the offerings required an animal that was without blemish. 


The people in the Temple, not the priests, possibly the Levites (but we don’t really know who they were), would offer to examine your animal to see if it met the standard.  If you have ever watched a car show, dog show, koi show, or been to a band or chorus competition, you have seen people who are “experts” who act as judges to determine who best meets the qualities they are looking for in that particular competition.  If you were to see the scoring sheets, you would see that none of the entrants were “without blemish.”  Well, these self- appointed Temple “experts” would manage to find something that would qualify as a “blemish.”


What were you supposed to do then?  You could not offer your “inferior” animal to God; He would not accept it.  Depending on the reason you were there, you could not fail to offer something.  “Well good luck is smiling on you my friend, because I will take this worthless animal off your hands and you can buy one from me!  Clean!  One owner!  It was a little old lady who only drove it to church on Sundays!”  Is it starting to sound familiar?  The thing is, you were probably buying an animal determined to be inferior two hours before.  In all likelihood the priests were in cahoots with the “experts.” That was Jesus’ problem and that was why He got angry and chased the lot out of there.  Your motives don’t have to be pure to come to Jesus, frankly because none of us came to Jesus out of pure motives to begin with.  But you had better be ready for Him to clean house once you get there. 


But don’t worry, as long as you are open to His correction, He won’t use a whip.


Have a blessed week!