“Then Jesus went into the temple of God and drove out all those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves. (13) And He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a den of thieves.'” Matthew 21:12-17
When Jesus arrived at the seat of both religious and political power, He confronted religious authorities as being “a den of thieves.” When Jerusalem was robbed of an environment conducive for spiritual renewal, their leaders were indicted by Jesus as thieves. Religious leaders were using their followers as merchandise to be traded for profit, and their souls were both hungry and lost. An atmosphere of greed reproduces after its own kind. It spreads like a contagious disease thus hindering those who would otherwise listen. They would rather gravitate in the direction of their instructions. Jesus did not approach the civic leaders first. He confronted religious leaders for their perverse ways. The house erected with the intent of worship must first become a house of prayer. If the priorities are misaligned, the activities will be dishonorable. The confrontation followed the coronation among those who recognized Him as King. The Lord is determined to have what He desires. His communion with the Father was the source of His strength as the Son of Man. The Church will be as strong as she is consistent in prayer from which all other activities must find their origin.