The Temple

Early in Holy Week, Jesus goes to the temple and does something I would imagine no one would have expected. Read with me from Matthew 21: 12-16.

Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. “It is written (from Isaiah 56:7) ,” he said to them, “‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’ but you are making it ‘a den of robbers.’ ”

The blind and the lame came to him at the temple, and he healed them. But when the chief priests and the teachers of the law saw the wonderful things he did and the children shouting in the temple courts, “Hosanna to the Son of David,” they were indignant.

“Do you hear what these children are saying?” they asked him.

“Yes,” replied Jesus, “have you never read, (from Psalm 8:2)

“‘From the lips of children and infants you, Lord, have called forth your praise’ ?”

Here is a powerful example of Jesus compelled to embrace righteous anger. He rejected the greed of the money changers that were up-charging poor people to purchase doves for their atoning sacrifices in the temple.

It makes me wonder if Jesus is also communicating that He will soon become the atoning sacrifice for the sins of the world.  The need to purchase an animal or bringing something to sacrifice on the altar will soon no longer be necessary. Jesus reclaims HIS HOUSE as a place for prayer and healing. His house is neither a place for cheating poor people nor tolerating indignant, religious people.

I hope we will come to the house of Lord this week with our hearts filled with praise like the children shouting in the temple courts.

In His Grip,
Mike Toluba

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