15 And they come to Jerusalem: and Jesus went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves; 16 And would not suffer that any man should carry any vessel through the temple. 17 And he taught, saying unto them, Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer? but ye have made it a den of thieves. (Mark 11:15-17 KJV)
In this passage Jesus come into the temple, observe what is going on there and get very, very angry. Imagine what is startling to everyone who know Jesus, Jesus is angry and angry enough to take an aggressive action. Think of the consequences of that action, the effect it have on the people that know Him. Why is the temple allowing these actions to happen in the first place? Just a little thought and common sense can answer the question.
The temple is a very holy place, a place for all to come, be welcomed and pray. The temple is not the place for commerce, making money for whatever reason, good or bad. During that time, it is well known that the temple is the place to go to exchange monies, as well as selling things, whether for the usable currency that is to be used in paying alms at the temple or elsewhere. That is the way the religious leaders set it up and the why. This is a way for the temple to make money, by adding on a fee for the exchange. However, Jesus have told many people numerous times that it is God’s house, a house of prayer, and that they should keep it holy. By allowing commerce to take place in God’s house is not keeping it holy. There is a place for everything and the things should not be mixed, like oil and water.
In that, Jesus is not angry at the temple as a structure, but at what the people are doing. He is not angry at the reason of what is going on nor why it is happening, it is where it is taking place. All He want to do is to pay His alms and Pray, not to conduct business in the temple. He was questioned previously about using a coin that praised Caesar to pay His alms and He told them ‘give Caesar what is Caesar’s and give God what is God’s’. Therefore He separated the two and wanted the temple the same way.
Today the same thing is happening, not a thing have changed. Our churches, whatever religion it may be, are not adhering to what Jesus have said. Go to any church for the sale of many, many goods. Is this the separation of church and commerce or is it viable? As an example, a person may buy girl scout cookies, participate in raffles, buy food for a cause or two, etc. I know people are saying ‘but that is for the church and…’. Jesus let it be known that that sort of thing can happen anywhere except in the confines of the holy place. Let the holy place remain holy.