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Experts are wrestling with ways to reduce poverty in the world. Some promote the use of microloans to help the poor start small businesses. Others suggest that large corporations invest in poor nations to create jobs. Whatever the strategy, the world needs to do more to help the 2 billion poor people worldwide. Numerous Bible texts reveal that God is concerned about the poor and the exploited. One day, Jesus walked into the temple, saw how dishonest merchants were ripping off the poor, and He drove them out. Of course, He was concerned that they were desecrating the temple, but He was also angry at the way they were exploiting the poor. They had turned the holy temple, designed for worship, into a moneymaking machine. The law required people to pay an annual temple tax in local currency. The merchants exchanged Roman money into temple money; but in so doing, they robbed the people by overcharging. They also made money by selling animals and doves at exorbitant rates. Jesus was so angry at this exploitation that He drove all of them out of the temple. He quoted the Scripture that says, “My Temple will be called a house of prayer, but you have turned it into a den of thieves.” In our day, we sometimes see the powerful taking advantage of the powerless. As followers of Jesus Christ, we, too, should be outraged.

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