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Jesus and Private Property (Daily Video)

Last week, our local congregation (we call them wards) requested that we focus on the temple in our weekly Family Home Evening (FHE). FHE is a weekly time for family discussion, teaching, a game, and a treat.

I decided to share this short (1 minute 35 sec.) video about Jesus cleansing the temple. Take a look:

As I watched the clip, I thought to myself, “So much for an American conception of property rights.”

My son Todd (13), also responded along the same lines, “He does not have a lot of respect for other people’s property.”

The difference: I thought it was pretty awesome. I am not against private property, but I am all for challenging the priority of property in our society.  Todd thought Jesus was being rude and showing a bit of a temper.

Now it was the House of the Lord, so we could say that the property upon which these transactions was took place belonged to Jesus (though not really in a property contract sense). However, and this was Todd’s point, the items being sold and the equipment being used was their property.

As a 13-year-old, Todd is sensitive about items that he values. He identified the carts of the vendors as being something that was likely of value to them, even central to their livelihoods. In the video, they also look frightened, so I was glad that he felt for them.

The message of John 2: 13-17 is as much about us, as it is about the temple.

Here are those verses:

The Passover of the Jews was near, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple he found people selling cattle, sheep, and doves, and the money changers seated at their tables. Making a whip of cords, he drove all of them out of the temple, both the sheep and the cattle. He also poured out the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. He told those who were selling the doves, “Take these things out of here! Stop making my Father’s house a marketplace!” His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for your house will consume me.” (NSRV)

And the Jews ‘passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem, And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting: And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables; And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise. And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up. (KJV)

The temple should not be a marketplace. Neither should our hearts be hearts of merchandise. Our lips are near Him, but where are our hearts, let alone our actions?

What were your thoughts as you watched the above video? How would you apply these verses to the ourselves and the world around us? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

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Comments

  1. >>Now it was the House of the Lord, so we could say that the property upon which these transactions was took place belonged to Jesus (though not really in a property contract sense).<<

    Exactly. This seems like a frail basis for launching a divisive political assertion.

  2. Clark Goble says:

    I thought it was less about property rights than lacking respect and tolerance for different theology. (-;

  3. Brad VanDyke says:

    I don’t think it says anything against an American conception of property rights. Something similar might happen to you if you tried to set up a shop inside a city hall, state capital, chapel, or temple in America. He is saying, “This is my father’s house, and it is a sacred space, not a place of merchandise. You are violating my father’s rules for HIS house. (Arguably sustaining a property right for God.)

  4. And yet few see anything wrong with destroying the property of homeless people today. Oh, that’s right, homelessness is illegal in many places. At least, in the US, it seems so.

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