Lenten Reader | Day 36

The Temple is Sacred

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

Matthew 21:12-16
In this passage, I hear Jesus saying, “You have made the temple look like the rest of the world. You turned what is supposed to be sacred and good and turned it into mess.” Jesus was angry. Jesus caused a scene. His response is a bit different than what we are accustomed to seeing from the Son of God. Listen, I have bad days where I lose my temper. I say things that are mean or do things that would not be pleasing to the eyes of God. In the moments after these things happen, I immediately feel remorse, embarrassment, and regret. But Jesus was intentional with every word he spoke, every healing he performed, and every action he took. Jesus regretted nothing, and he certainly did not show remorse for his actions. Jesus cleaned out the
temple because He is the temple. The temple is sacred.

The priests and teachers were not upset at Jesus’s civil disobedience but were indignant to the reactions of the crowd. Jesus was gaining a large following and the fact that the children were praising Him showed the strength of the devotion that was growing within the crowds. The word “praise” here could be translated as the word, “strength”. The children’s praise called out the power that Jesus had as God. This made the priests and teachers scared because this favor from the crowd made Jesus a threat. Jesus was now a fire that they
needed to be extinguished. Jesus had just set fire to the temple.

Marty Ford