Is there room in the church?

Jesus went straight to the Temple and threw out everyone who had set up shop, buying and selling. He kicked over the tables of loan sharks and the stalls of dove merchants. He quoted this text:

My house was designated a house of prayer; You have made it a hangout for thieves.

Now there was room for the blind and crippled to get in. They came to Jesus and he healed them.

Matt 21:12-14

(from THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language © 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson. All rights reserved.)

My friend Dave Drozek wrote in response to this passage…

As I read this passage this morning, I was struck with the way The Message put this.  It changed my whole thinking about what Jesus did in the temple.  Maybe he wasn’t so upset about what was being done as he was about what was NOT being done in the temple.  Business and organization had pushed out those in need, those who were inefficient, those who drained our resources, rather than serving them!

Is this what we do today?  Are we all about expediency?  Do we really want “those people” in the church who are emotionally needy, who want to monopolize our time and conversation?  Do we want those who are on the margin of society to sit next to us, to require that we smell them, maybe even to help them in some way?  Don’t we rather prefer to sneak in, talk to our friends, and leave quickly, avoiding eye contact with the unlovely?

What would Jesus do if he came to our church today?  Hmm….

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