John positions the story of the cleansing of the temple in the beginning of his gospel and he provides the most detail of the four evangelists. Jesus makes a whip out of cords and drives sheep, oxen and money changers out of the temple area ordering them to stop making my Father’s house a market place. The Jesus I see revealed in this story is passionate and forceful even physically in defense of an enlightened reality; but He is not violent. He is acting and teaching against the temple sacrificial system.
Most religions try to control their followers’ access to God with a system to determine worthiness.
The Jews will abandon the sacrificial system and establish themselves as a religion of laws after the destruction of the temple in 70, C.E.
Jesus message is centered on an open access to God. When He says seek and you fill find, ask and it will be given, knock and the door will be open, worthiness is not the issue.
All religions seem to be moving toward an open access to God as they de-emphasize the importance of the letter of the law and the inviolability of doctrine and dogma.
Jesus teaches us we are each and every one of us is a child of God and the Kingdom of God is within. No one needs an intermediary to access God. We are social beings and we do seem to need church. I know I do. Church, when it works, gathers the people fosters relationships and reveals God.
We are a community of laymen and laywomen who, with vowed Passionists, seek to share in the charism of St. Paul of the Cross through prayer, ongoing spiritual formation, and proclamation of the message of Christ Crucified.