John 2:16. “[Jesus] told those who were selling the doves,
‘Take these things out of here! Stop making my Father’s house a marketplace!’”
What if this story of Jesus throwing around tables and chairs is not really about the animals, moneychangers, or anger? What if the animals and moneychangers who have taken over so much real estate in the temple are not the problem but rather symptoms of the problem? What if this gospel lesson from John isn’t about what is present in the temple but is deeply concerned with what is missing?
Jesus can see that the temple is filled with animals and moneychangers but is empty of life and soul. The people have lost their way and have forgotten that the temple is God’s house, that their bodies are God’s house, that creation is the God’s house, that the entire cosmos is God’s house. They have forgotten that the face of God is found in every direction.
When this kind of forgetting happens in our own hearts and minds, the temple of our lives become places of transaction rather than transformation, wholesale marketplaces rather than holy meeting places.
Jesus is driving out forgetfulness from our hearts—vivifying, ensouling, and humanizing the temple inside you and me.
*Originally written for and published by Forward Day by Day.