Jesus at the Temple
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Jesus at the Temple
By Dell Smith Klein
A card table with play money on it. Coins. Have a couple of boys – one at the table, the other standing beside it. Coach them ahead of time so they know that you plan to push the coins off the table. They are to look scared when you do that.
Kelly and her parents went to an auction at the fairgrounds. Kelly had never seen anything like it. She saw sheep in pens, heard calves bawling, watched cows run back and forth in a crowded corral. And on top of that there were announcers with microphones and people who were shouting and arguing. The whole place was loud, dusty, smelly and not very pleasant. When Kelly complained, her dad said the story reminded him of the story of Jesus at the Temple.
Recently, I read that story in the Holy Bible. It is in John 2:13-22. When Jesus entered the Temple grounds, he found the courtyard filled with oxen, sheep and cages of birds. Jesus also saw tables set up where men, called money changers, sat. Money changers often cheated people out of some of their money. The whole place was loud, dusty, smelly and not very pleasant.
How would you feel if you came to church and you saw people selling cows and sheep and birds here in the church? (Allow the children to respond.) What a mess that would be!
Jesus didn’t like it either. He knew the Temple was God’s special place. He knew that buying and selling in the Temple was wrong. He knew that the money changers were cheating people. That was not God plan for the Temple or his people.
Jesus chased out the cattle and sheep. He swept the coins off the tables of the money changers. (Push the coins off the table onto the floor.) And Jesus told the owners of the doves, “Take these things out of here! Don’t make my Father’s house a marketplace!” (verse 16).
Kelly listened and thought about the story from the Holy Bible. She understood that Jesus expected the people of his day to honor the Temple as God’s house. What are some ways we can honor the church? (Allow children to respond.) We honor the church by not throwing papers on the floor. And like Kelly, we honor our church by not bringing things inside that don’t belong inside a church building.
Thank you God, for showing us how to treat your house. Help me only do things that honor you in your church. Amen.
Scripture quotations from the World English Bible
Copyright 2013, Richard Niell Donovan