"Get these out of here! How dare you turn my Father's house into a market!" (John 2:16)

Here Jesus is speaking angrily to those who were selling goods within the boundary of the temple. Here is the text leading to his statement:
When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple courts he found men selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple area, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. (John 2:13-15)
He overturned tables and drove the animals outs. He was very upset. Why was Jesus so upset?

What did Jesus mean by 'my Father's house'?

This is how Jesus described the temple: "my Father's house". Jesus is personalizing the temple. This was where people worshipped God.

There are three pertinent words here:

1) "my" is possessive. Why would Jesus be possessive concerning God? This is because Jesus enjoys a personal relationship with God. A loving relationship. Consider the use of "my" when someone says "my husband" or "my brother." The word "my" signifies a loving relationship that allows them to say "my." Otherwise, there is no ownership. Jesus does not own God any more than a wife does not own her husband or one brother owns another brother. But the use of "my" signifies a particular relationship: one of love.

2) "Father" signifies that God is an individual, separate from Jesus. "Father" also indicates a familial relationship, where one person (Father) created the other (Jesus). It also indicates dependency: A person looks to their father as a protector and guardian. This is how Jesus felt about God.

3) "House" indicates a dwelling place. A "house" is a place where someone lives. In other words, Jesus saw that God dwells in the temple. This does not mean that God only lives in the temple because we know that Jesus and other prophets have described God as residing in heaven. So we know that God can expand Himself, and dwell within those places where He will accept worship. This does not depend upon a building. It depends upon devotion. God will dwell where ever He is worshipped with love and devotion. Once a loving servant of God asks God to come within a particular location to be worshipped, God will comply. This is because God enjoys exchanging loving relationships.

In other words, Jesus became so upset because they were abusing the house of God - with Whom Jesus had a loving relationship.

So we can see that Jesus was upset with people turning the location of loving worship to God into a market. Is this much different from what takes place at most professional churches and temples around the world? We see so many bazaars and flea markets being hosted at churches. Churches have become the means of funding so many unrelated events today.

Why is money so important to some institutions?

We can see Jesus' disdain for turning the temple grounds into a place where money is king. Those sellers and money changers on the temple were all about money. The temple became a place of business. It became centered around money.

This was opposed by Jesus, because Jesus taught that the temple was a place of worship, not a place to make money.

Ironically, even though Jesus angrily turned over tables and chastized these sellers, today we find many sects that claim to follow Jesus will engage so much effort to raise money.

These efforts include turning churches into bazaars and marketplaces, mirroring the kind of event Jesus condemned here.

Some sects have billions of dollars of funding from so many events. To this we add the so many pleas by sectarian evangelists who ask for money in so many tricky ways, to bring billions into their coffers. Why do they need so much money? Why is money such a central focus among these so-called religious leaders?

The reason is that love of God is not as important. If helping others learn to love God - Jesus' primary teaching - is not the primary mission of the institution, that emptiness creates a hole. Such a hole must be filled, and most will fill that hole with the need to make money. This is the hole of self-centeredness, which pervades this world.

Should preachers earn a salary?

Jesus did not earn a salary from preaching. Neither did John the Baptist. Nor did Jesus' disciples.

Yet we find that most of today's religious leaders are paid salaries to preach. Is this appropriate? To turn preaching into a business in order to earn money and even - for some institutions - become wealthy.

Isn't this offensive to God and Jesus? To turn an activity that should be based upon love into a business?

Jesus' example is clear. Teachers who truly represent Jesus do not accept payment for their services. They do not earn salaries. If someone wants to donate to the teacher, that is their free choice. But there is never a salary set up. This taints the entire process with quid-pro-quo, which leads to greed. It has no part in the teachings of God and God's representative.

This does not mean money is not required for distributing spiritual information. Yes, expenses have to be paid, and sometimes printing costs and building costs and microphone costs have to all be paid for. So donations and payments can be made for these things. This is not the same as profitability, however. Once a person takes a profit from passing down the teachings of Jesus and the prophets, those teachings are tainted and have no value.

So how would a teacher of God be fed and have a roof over his or her head? Yes, donations can pay for this. A fund can be set up to house and feed the teacher, and pay his expenses related to teaching.

Things used for the purposes of disseminating the Truth can certainly be paid for by donations. But earning a lucrative salary from preaching runs contrary to everything that Jesus stood for.

Jesus states this
"Freely you have received; freely give." (Matt. 10:8)
Jesus was not paid to teach. Neither was his teacher John. Neither were his disciples. Why not? Because this is God's will.

Teaching about God is not a paid position. And receiving a salary for teaching about God is offensive to God. Yet so many sectarian teachers today will pay for their seminary education, and then be paid to teach. Contrasting Jesus' principle, theirs is:

"You have paid to receive, now charge to give."

This function - of paying to receive and being paid to give - is rooted in self-centeredness. Service is the opposite of self-centeredness, and thus indenture. If a person is paid to do their service then the service is not voluntary. It is indentured.

The Supreme Being wants us to come to love Him out of our free will. Not in exchange for something else.