After Jesus entered Jerusalem he encountered several groups of people who were working against him as he made his way to the cross. He was about to die for his people and in turn they would go into a hostile world. The characters we encounter in Jerusalem in Luke 19 and 20 can be found in the church today because human nature, being what it is, does not change. By being aware of the attitudes of the various parties opposed to Christ we can avoid being like them ourselves. Here’s the first of six types of people who work against Jesus.
1. Temple traders: in religion only for what they can get out of it.
Just like the money changers and dove sellers in the temple, this movement of people seek to use religion for their own material gain. “I’ll go to church because it will help me get on in life. If my kids go to church they have a better chance of getting a good job or a good education or marry someone who’ll help them have a comfortable life.” To this person, church is a service provider, and some people like this might even go to several churches to get everything they are seeking from it. If this person serves in the church, like money lenders, the underlying motivation is personal gain.
But Jesus literally turned the money lenders’ world upside down as he overturned their tables. Jesus turns lives upside down and inside out. His death for sin melts hard hearts so people no longer live for self but selflessly live for the glory of Christ our Saviour. To check ourselves in this area we can ask, how does the love of Christ in his death for my sin affect my generosity; in doing good deeds for others and in giving money for mission and ministry?