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Posts tagged ‘Temple’

The Light of His Glory.


One thing I have desired of the LORD, that will I seek: That I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to inquire in His temple.
Psalm 27:4

Recommended Reading
Psalm 73:16-17, 23-28 ( http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm%2073:16-17,%2023-28&version=NKJV )

At a meeting of the Socratic Club in Oxford, England, in 1945, the Christian apologist C. S. Lewis said, “I believe that the Sun has risen not only because I see it but because by it I see everything else.” In his biography of C. S. Lewis, Alister McGrath explains what Lewis meant: “We can look at the sun itself; or we can look instead at what it illuminates — thus enlarging our intellectual, moral, and aesthetic vision. We see the true, the good, and the beautiful more clearly by being given a lens that brings them into focus.”1

Listen to Today’s Radio Message ( http://www.davidjeremiah.org/site/radio.aspx?tid=email_listenedevo )

The psalmist Asaph had a similar enlightening experience. He was confused and frustrated about the prosperity of evildoers in the world — “Until I went into the sanctuary of God;  then  I understood their end” (Psalm 73:17). When he went to the temple to worship God, suddenly he saw the answer — the answer was God! Somehow, when we “worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness” (Psalm 29:2), life looks different.

We worship God not only because He is God but because we see everything else more clearly in the light of His glory.

In the light of God, human vision clears.
James Philip

1Alister McGrath,  C. S. Lewis: A Life—Eccentric Genius, Reluctant Prophet  (Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 2013), 277.

Read-Thru-the-Bible
1 Corinthians 1-4

By David Jeremiah.

Not Persuaded.


Jesus‘ brothers said to him, “Leave here and go to Judea, where your followers can see your miracles! You can’t become famous if you hide like this! If you can do such wonderful things, show yourself to the world!” — John 7:3-4

The pressure was on. Michelle was really being pushed to launch the new product in the spring and get a jump on the competition. Everything was ready–almost, but not quite. It was the “not quite” that caused Michelle to hold back and reexamine the data. By the time the product was ready to be launched in the fall, the product had required critical changes. In the end, Michelle’s ability to stand firm against outside pressures ensured the viability of the product and preserved the integrity of the company.

Jesus faced similar pressures in John 7. His brothers were pushing him to go to the Feast of Tabernacles early and show off his miracle-performing abilities. Like many Jews, these brothers were looking for someone to “wow” the crowds and eventually lead the people in a rebellion against the Romans. The Feast would have been an ideal platform for launching Jesus’ political career.

But Jesus could not be persuaded to become a crowd (or brother) pleaser. Jesus knew that his mission on earth was not to win fans, but to redeem people from their sin. Keeping his ultimate purpose in mind, Jesus chose to go to the festival, but in secret. In his wisdom, Jesus could not be persuaded to veer from his purpose, not even for one day of earthly glory. His choice to enter the festival quietly, instead of with a fanfare, led to a day of heated debates with his enemies and intense discussions with the crowd but no flashy miracles. By the end of the day, “many among the crowds at the Temple believed in him” (v. 31).

Regardless of the agenda others have, a leader needs to stand firm and keep her goal in focus. Leaders with integrity know that they cannot allow themselves to be persuaded to cave in to people-pleasing or glory-grabbing decisions. Pursuing integrity may not always be the popular or easy path, but it usually proves to be the wiser path.

Source: Leadership Weekly

Ministry Today.

7 Things We Regularly Get Wrong About Worship.


Joe McKeever

Give unto the Lord the glory due to His name (Psalm 29:2).

It’s Sunday around noonish. As the congregation files out of the sanctuary heading toward the parking lot, listen closely and you will hear it.

It’s a common refrain voiced near the exit doors of churches all across this land.

“I didn’t get anything out of that today.” “I didn’t get anything out of the sermon.” “I didn’t get anything out of that service.” “I guess her song was all right, but I didn’t get anything out of it.”

Sound familiar? Not only have I heard it countless times over these near-fifty years in the ministry, I probably have said it a few times myself.

This is like dry rot in a congregation. Like a termite infestation in the building. Like an epidemic afflicting the people of the Lord, one which we seem helpless to stop.

But let’s try. Let’s see if we can make a little difference where you and I live, in the churches where we serve and worship. We might not be able to help all of them, but if we bless one or two, it will have been time well spent.

1. You are Not Supposed to ‘Get Anything Out of the Service

Worship is not about you and me. Not about “getting our needs met.” Not about a performance from the pastor and singer and choir and musicians. Not in the least.

2. Worship is About the Lord

“Give unto the Lord the glory due to His name.” That Psalms 29:2 verse atop our article today is found also in 1 Chronicles 16:29 and Psalms 96:8. It deserves being looked at closely.

a) We are in church to give. Not to get.

Now, if I am going somewhere to “get,” but find out on arriving, I am expected to “give,” I am one frustrated fellow. And that is what is happening in the typical church service. People walk out the door frustrated because they didn’t “get.” The reason they didn’t is that they were not there to “get,” but to “give.”

Someone should have told them.

b) We are giving glory to God. Not to man.

We know that. At least we say we do. How many times have we recited, “…for thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory”? And how often have we sung, “Praise God from whom all blessings flow…”?

c) We do so because glory is His right. He is “worthy of worship.”

This is the theme of the final book of the Bible.

  • “Who is worthy?” (Rev. 5:2)
  • “You are worthy…for you were slain, and have redeemed us” (Rev. 5:9).
  • “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain” (Rev. 5:12).

3. Self-centeredness Destroys All Worship

If my focus is on myself when I enter the church–getting my needs met, learning something, hearing a lesson that blesses me, being lifted by the singing–then Christ has no part in it. He becomes my servant, and the pastor (and all the other so-called performers) are there only for me. It’s all about me.

We have strayed so far from the biblical concept of worship–giving God His due in all the ways He has commanded–it’s a wonder we keep going to church. And it’s an even greater wonder that our leaders keep trying to get us to worship.

The poor preacher! Trying to cater to the insatiable hungers of his people, even the best and most godly among them, is an impossible task. One week he gets it right and eats up the accolades. Then, about the time he thinks he has it figured out, the congregation walks out grumbling that they got nothing out of the meal he served today.

The typical congregation in the average church today really does think the service is all about them–getting people saved, learning the Word, receiving inspiration to last another week, having their sins forgiven, taking an offering to provision the Lord’s work throughout the world.

Anything wrong with those things? Absolutely not. But if we go to church to do those things, we can do them. But we will not have worshiped.

Warren Wiersbe says, “If you worship because it pays, it will not pay.”

4. Evangelism & Discipleship, Giving & Praying, Grow Out of Worship; Not the Other Way Around

The disciples were worshiping on the Day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit filled them and drove them into the streets to bear a witness to the living Christ (Acts 2).

Isaiah was in the Temple worshiping when God appeared to him, forgave his sins, and called him as a prophet to the people (Isaiah 6).

It was in the act of worship that the two distraught disciples had their eyes opened to recognize Jesus at their table (Luke 24).

5. We are to Give Him Worship and Glory in the Ways Scripture Commands

“Give to the Lord the glory due His name and bring an offering.” So commands I Chronicles 16:29 and Psalm 96:8.

“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit. A broken and contrite heart–these, O God, you will not despise.” (Psalm 51:17)

Singing, praise, rejoicing. Praying, offering, humbling, loving. All these are commanded in worship at various places in Scripture.

The Lord Jesus told the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well, “Those who worship God must worship in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24). That is, with their inner being, the totality of themselves, their spirit, not just their lips or their bodies going through the motions. And in truth–the revealed truth of how God has prescribed worship to take place. He is not pleased with “just anything” that we claim as worship.

We must balance our worship between spirit (the subjective part: body, soul, emotions) and truth (the objective aspect: all that God has revealed in His word).

6. We Are the Ones Who Decide Whether We Worship upon Entering the House of the Lord

Don’t blame the preacher if you don’t worship. He can’t do it for you.

No one else can eat my food for me, love my cherished ones in my place, or do my worshiping for me.

No pastor can decide or dictate whether we will worship by the quality of his leadership or the power of his sermon. Whether I worship in today’s service has absolutely nothing to do with how well he does his job.

I am in charge of this decision. I decide whether I will worship.

When Mary sat before the Lord Jesus, clearly worshiping, He informed a disgruntled Martha that her sister had “chosen the good part,” something that “will not be taken away from her” (Luke 10:42). That something special was time spent in worship. Such moments or hours are eternal.

Lest someone point out that Martha could have worshiped in her kitchen by her service for Christ, we do not argue, but simply point out that she was not doing so that day.

7. Remember: Worship is a Verb

And it’s an active verb at that.

Worship is something we do, not something done to us.

In the worst of circumstances, I can still worship my God. In the Philippians prison, while their backs were still oozing blood from the beating they’d received, Paul and Silas worshiped (Acts 16:25).

Even if a church has no pastor and has to make do with a stuttering layman or some inept fill-in, I can still bow before the Lord, offer Him my praise, and give Him my all. I can humble before Him and I can bring my offering.

What I cannot do is leave church blaming my failure to worship on the poor singing, the boring sermon, or the noise from the children in the next pew. I am in charge of the decision whether I will worship, and no one else.

Someone has pointed out that ours is the only nation on earth where church members feel they have to have “worshipful architecture” before they can adequately honor the Lord. Millions of Christians across the world seem to worship just fine without any kind of building. Believers in Malawi meet under mango trees, according to retired missionary Mike Canady, and their worship is as anointed as anyone’s anywhere. (What? No stained glass!)

Our insistence on worshipful music, worship settings, and worshipful everything are all signs of our disgusting self-centeredness.

It’s disgusting because I see it in myself, and do not like it.

No one enjoys a great choir more than I. I love to hear a soloist transport us all into the Throneroom by his/her vocal offering in the service. A great testimony of God’s grace and power thrills me. And of course, being a preacher, I delight in hearing a sermon that you feel is direct from the heart of God.

But if I require any one or all of those before I can worship, something is vastly wrong with me.

My friends, something is vastly wrong with us today.

Dr. Joe McKeever is a Preacher, Cartoonist, and the Director of Missions for the Baptist Association of Greater New Orleans. Visit him at joemckeever.com/mt. Used with permission.

Publication date: May 24, 2011

This is a day of mourning and remembrance for the Jewish people.


From Mike Evans the founder of the Jerusalem Prayer Team

Tonight beginning at sundown, Jewish people will observe Tisha B’av, the day of fasting and mourning for the loss of both Temples in Jerusalem.  This day of lamentation also commemorates other Jewish tragedies that occurred on this day, most notably the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492 and the razing of Jerusalem following the siege of Jerusalem by the Romans in 70 AD.

For Bible believers, the most important scripture referring to the Temple is found in Matthew 24:1-2: As Jesus was leaving the Temple grounds, His disciples came along and wanted to take him on a tour of the various Temple buildings. But He told them, “All these buildings will be knocked down with not one stone left on top of another.”

The words of Jesus were absolutely shocking to His followers, but all hope was not lost.  In that same discourse by our Lord, He predicted glorious hope for the future with His return.  That return is tied in to several significant predictions that have already come to pass.

One of the most significant prophetic events was the blooming of the fig tree. On May 14, 1948, in fulfillment of Isaiah 66:8, “Can a country be born in a day or a nation be brought forth in a moment,” Israel was prophetically reborn. This took place despite the fact that the Holy Land has changed hands twenty-six times, and Jerusalem has been leveled to the ground several times.  Many of the prophecies found in Matthew 24 have come to pass, and the rest will be fulfilled. Psalm 102:16 says, “For the Lord will rebuild Zion and appear in His glory.”

Today you and I have the opportunity to be a witness of God’s love in the Holy City of Jerusalem.  The Jewish people are under attack and facing threats on every side.  They need to know that they are not alone, that their Christian friends around the world are standing with them.  That is why we are working so hard on the Righteous Gentile Heritage Center.

We must raise the remaining half of the funds for the fourth floor and make the second payment of $411,500 by today. It is critical that we keep on schedule; the grand opening is scheduled for September 2014, and the nation of Israel is already talking about this unprecedented witness of Christian love. Your gift today will be matched dollar for dollar, so we must raise $205,750. So far 1,540 loving friends have given $166,035 which will be doubled to $332,070. That means we still need $39,715.

DONATE NOW: https://secure.etransfer.com/JPT/Psalm91BiblePrem.cfm?dn=1032&commID=431373844&ID=711760

With your gift of any amount, we will send you a beautiful Psalm 91 print and a matching bookmark.  I know these beautiful words will strengthen and encourage your faith.

When you send your gift of $50 or more, we will send you the print and bookmark and a lovely Touching the Hem of His Garment figurine.  Few stories in Scripture demonstrate faith in action better than the woman who believed she would be healed if she could just touch the hem of Jesus’ robe.  You will enjoy displaying this piece in your home or office.

If you are able to send a gift of $100 or more, we will send the print and bookmark and a copy of the Jerusalem World Center Study Bible.  Prepared especially for members of the Jerusalem Prayer Team, this beautifully bound King James Version features special study helps and notes that I know you will use again and again, including a concordance, center-column reference, Messianic Prophecies of the Old Testament, Miracles and Parables of our Lord, and much more.

Remember that your gift today will be doubled by the matching gift offer to do twice as much to help us reach this urgent goal.

DONATE NOW: https://secure.etransfer.com/JPT/Psalm91BiblePrem.cfm?dn=1032&commID=431373844&ID=711760

Your support of the Jerusalem Prayer Team today allows us to continue our work on the Righteous Gentile Heritage Center, to stand up and speak out for Israel, and to meet urgent humanitarian needs among the poor Jewish people living in Israel.  Thank you so much for being part of this vital worldwide prayer movement.

Your ambassador to Jerusalem,

Dr. Michael Evans

Rediscovering the Holy Temple of Jerusalem.


Ariel Ben Ami

Photo: Model of the Second Temple (Travelujah)

During Lent, one great way to gain new insights into Christ’s life, passion, death and resurrection — and also into our own Christian liturgy — is to get to know the place that was at the center of Jesus’ own spiritual life: the Temple. The Jerusalem Temple was the holy seat of the Divine Presence and the heart and soul of Judaism in Jesus’ days. So it’s no surprise that the Gospels present Jesus’ life and ministry as revolving around the Temple:

Soon after He was born, Joseph and Mary presented Jesus in the Temple (Lk 2:27).

He taught in the Temple at age 12 (Lk 46) and then throughout his life (Mt 21:23; Mk 12:35; 14:49; Lk 19:47; 21:38; Jn 7:14; 8:2; 18:20); He also healed in the Temple (Mt 21:14).

He viewed the Temple as his “Father’s House” and drove out the money changers from it out of concern for its sanctity (Mt 21:12; Mk 11:15; Lk 19:45; Jn 2:14).

Finally, Jesus said that He is Himself greater than the Temple (Mt 12:6) announcing that His own body would be a new Temple (Mt 26:61; Mk 14:58; Jn 2:19-21).

There have been two Temples in the history of Israel: The first was built by King Solomon around 970 B.C. (cf. 1 Ki 6), and it was destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 B.C. (2 Ki 25). The Second Temple was built by Zerubbabel after the return from Babylonian Exile in 516 B.C.; it was renovated and enlarged by King Herod the Great around 19 B.C., and was destroyed by the Romans in 70 A.D.

Both Temples were built on the Temple Mount, approximately where the Muslim Dome of the Rock stands today. This is why the Western Wall is the holiest site for the Jews today — because it is the closest spot to where the Holy of Holies used to stand. There, the Divine Shekhinah rested over the Ark of the Covenant and between the Cherubim as the tangible sign of God’s Presence in the midst of His people.

The Temple Institute

One really interesting way of getting acquainted with the Temple of Jesus’ days is by visiting the Temple Institute in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem. Situated on Misgav LaDach Street, one arrives there by walking down from the main square of the Jewish Quarter towards the Western Wall. Misgav LaDach is the last street on the left just before going down the stairs leading to the Wall.

The Temple Institute is quite small, consisting of three rooms, a bookshop and small movie screening room. The bookshop offers a number of superb books on the Temple, as well as Bible Atlases, Temple models, and more.

In the first room, the main showcase features two figures, one of the High Priest and one of a regular priest, standing next to a golden altar of incense just like the one that used to stand in the sanctuary. Incense was offered daily on this altar, rising towards heaven and symbolizing the prayers of the people rising to God. The High Priest is wearing his intricate “golden garments,” consisting of ephod, breastplate, robe, tunic, turban, belt, crown, and pants).

As I walk around the room, a guide explains to a group of religious Israeli school children in Hebrew the role of the different instruments that were used in the Temple service, as well as the significance of the High Priest’s garments. In other displays around the room, there are musical instruments that were played by the Levites in the Temple service, such as a lyre, harp and trumpets.

At the center of the second room is a superb model of the Herodian Temple as it would have looked in Jesus’ days. In the corner stands a small stone altar of sacrifice. The walls of the room are decorated with several beautiful color paintings of the Temple in its former glory.

In the screening room, a short animated film explains various aspects of the Temple service and its sacrifices.

Walking down a few steps, we arrive at the third room. On the right side, there is the large bronze laver which provided water to wash the priests’ hands and feet.

In the main showcase, there is the table of showbread, with golden racks made to hold twelve large loaves of bread. The twelve loaves (corresponding to the twelve tribes of Israel), that used to be constantly present on the table in the sanctuary and were replaced every Shabbat, represented the material abundance that God provides to the world. On the left and right, there are vessels for the Temple service and bottles of wine for the drink offerings.

Absent from the museum is the beautiful golden Menorah that lighted the interior of the sanctuary and symbolized God’s Wisdom and His spiritual blessing on Israel and the world. (The Menorah is on open display outside, further down on the way to the Western Wall).

Here also the walls are decorated with several beautiful scenes of both the first (Solomonic) and second (Herodian) Temples, including views of the inner sanctuary and of the High Priest offering incense in the Holy of Holies on Yom Kippur.

The Temple as Pillar of Creation

The guide asks the group of children: How far back does the Temple go? Only as far back as Solomon? What are its origins?

As a hint, he points to a picture in the back. There, we see an image of the Aqedah — of Abraham about to sacrifice His son Isaac. As he raises his knife to kill his son, Abraham has a mystical vision of the future Temple. Indeed, the Bible tells us that Abraham’s offering of Isaac took place on Mount Moriah (Gen 22:2), the very place where the Temple would later be built. This means that Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son to God was a foreshadowing of all the future sacrifices that would be later offered in the Temple.

But the Temple even goes further back in time. In fact, Jewish tradition situates the Temple at the beginning of the creation of the world. As some midrashic sources tell us, the Temple had been part of God’s design since even before creation, and it was built on the foundation stone of the world, called in Hebrew the Even Shetiyah. This idea shows how it has always been God’s desire to dwell among His people, even from the beginning of time.

For religious Jews, the furnishings, instruments and garments prepared by the Temple institute are not just artifacts of historical interest. They have been made according to the strictest requirements set out in the Torah for the purpose of being used in the future Third Temple. Indeed, religious Jews pray every day for its speedy reconstruction.

Christian Fulfillment

Christians see the Temple differently: for us, a visit to the Temple Institute is first of all a fascinating journey through time. It’s a unique opportunity to discover the magnificent house of worship that used to be at the heart of Jewish life for nearly 1,000 years. But we also see the Temple fulfilled in Christ, in the Church’s liturgy, and in our own lives when through faith and baptism we become “temples of the Holy Spirit” (1 Cor 6:19).

As the Epistle to the Hebrew tells us, Christ is both the sacrificial victim who atoned for our sins and our High Priest who is “seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven” (Heb 8:1). Now, at Mass, the priest acts in persona Christi (in the person of Christ) and offers incense on our behalf, representing our prayers rising to heaven.

The laver prefigures the priest’s washing of hands at Mass before the Eucharistic prayer; it’s a sign of his need for spiritual purification as he silently says “Lord, wash away my iniquity; cleanse me from my sin.”

The Menorah reminds us of Jesus who is the “light of the world” (Jn 8:12), represented by the lighted candles on the altar at Mass.

The loaves of showbread also prefigure Jesus who is the “bread of life” (Jn 6:35), and the drink offerings of wine foreshadow his turning water in wine at Cana (Jn 2:9). And Christ now continues to remain present with us in a special way through His Body and Blood, given to us under the form of the Eucharistic bread and wine.

Christians who believe that Jesus’ resurrected body is the New Temple, and that this New Temple of the Holy Spirit is perpetuated in the Church and in the Body of every baptized believer, cannot share the same desire of our Jewish friends to see the physical Temple building reconstructed. But we can pray with them for God to “return His Shekhinah to Zion” so that His presence and the power of his love and salvation may again come to dwell in its fullness, both in Jerusalem and in the entire world.

Ariel Ben Ami writes regularly for Travelujah-Holy Land Tours. He was born in Canada and is currently a doctoral student at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He is fascinated by the Jewish roots of Christianity and enjoys writing about biblical and theological topics. He is the founder and director of Catholics for Israel, a lay apostolate dedicated to building bridges and fostering reconciliation between Israel and the church.

Travelujah is the leading Christian social network focused on connecting Christians to Israel. People can learn plan and share their Holy Land tour and travel experiences on Travelujah.

Publication date: March 20, 2012

Do You Really See God?.


When I think about what God says about King Uzziah in Isaiah 6:1—In the year King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple“—I think about that symbolically.

In other words. When we die to self, that’s when we can see the Lord on His throne, not that He hasn’t always been there; but that’s when we really see Him for who He is.

Once we see God for who He really is, we recognize how miniscule we are in comparison. We are nothing but a vapor, a wisp that could easily be blown away…yet for the grace of God.

In this state of humbleness, we understand that we are to look up to Him who is high and lifted up.

This means seeking after God, His ways and His will for every area of our lives; making decisions based on what He has to say about it in His word; and basing our actions on moral values we’ve learned from God’s character and His commands.

As we learn to constantly look up, to constantly inquire of, seek after, and look toward His guidance, we realize that the train of God’s robe fills the temple. What does that really mean?

First of all, the train of a robe is the bottom part of it that drags along the floor, behind the rest of the garment. In Exodus 33:18-23, at Moses’ request for God to show him His glory, God passes by Moses, but He only shows Moses his “back parts,” for He told Moses that no one could see His face and live.

If you are looking at the train of a robe, you are essentially looking at the back parts. God is too powerful to allow His entire being to be in our temple! Your temple is your very existence and represents your entire body, soul and spirit.

So, in the temple of our lives, in our innermost spiritual sanctuaries, when God decides to make His presence known, it is but the train of His robe—just a tiny part of His entire presence—that we experience!

Let’s say, hypothetically, that God were to place all of Himself in your temple. Do you recall what happened to Paul on the road to Damascas when Jesus spoke to Him (Acts 26:12-18)?.

The brilliant light and voice of Jesus caused Paul and his companions to fall to the ground. John, who while exiled on the isle of Patmos saw the Risen One Himself in a vision, “fell at His feet as dead” (Revelations 1:9-19).

Why? Because he, like Paul, could not withstand the power of God’s presence, which is so mighty that His entire being can’t fit into any temple. When we experience His presence, although it is a minute fraction of His being—the train of His robe—it is a thing of awe.

I believe God is telling us in Isaiah 6:1 that once we die to ourselves, then live a life looking up to Him, then and only then will we experience His true power and presence—all of it that He can fit into our temple, into our worship, which not only involves our songs of praise and adoration but every aspect of how we live our lives.

So, ask yourself: “What have I not died to? What have I been ignoring God’s voice about? What do I need to let go?” Is it someone who considers himself or herself as your friend but really isn’t? Is it someone you are about to marry that deep down inside you know you shouldn’t? Yes, I went there.

Is it a sin you’ve been bound with and just refuse to let go? The only way you will truly see God in all His power and experience the awesomeness of His presence in your temple is for you to die to whatever it is that’s holding you back. You know what it is. And then constantly look up to Him—and witness His glory in a way you never have before. Selah.

Scripture of the Day: “In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple.” – Isaiah 6:1.

By Vanessa Burke.

Jesus Clears the Temple of Money Changers.


 

Jesus Clears the TempleJesus Clears the Temple of Money ChangersPhoto: Getty Images

Bible Story Summary

Scripture Reference:

Accounts of Jesus driving the money changers from the Temple are found in Matthew 21:12-13; Mark 11:15-18; Luke 19:45-46; and John 2:13-17.

Jesus Drives the Money Changers From the Temple – Story Summary:

Jesus Christ and his disciples journeyed to Jerusalem to celebrate the feast of Passover. They found the sacred city of God overflowing with thousands of pilgrims from all parts of the world.Entering the Temple, Jesus saw the money changers, along with merchants who were selling animals for sacrifice.  Pilgrims carried coins from their home towns, most bearing the images of Roman emperors or Greek gods, which Temple authorities considered idolatrous.

The high priest ordered that only Tyrian shekels would be accepted for the annual half-shekel Temple tax because they contained a higher percentage of silver, so the money changers exchanged unacceptable coins for these shekels.  Of course, they extracted a profit, sometimes much more than the law allowed.

Jesus was so filled with anger at the desecration of the holy place that he took some cords and wove them into a small whip.  He ran about, knocking over the tables of the money changers, spilling coins on the ground.  He drove the exchangers out of the area, along with the men selling pigeons and cattle.  He also prevented people from using the court as a shortcut.

As he cleansed the Temple of greed and profit, Jesus quoted from Isaiah 56:7: “My house shall be called a house of prayer, but you make it a den of robbers.” (Matthew 21:13, ESV)

The disciples and others present were in awe of Jesus’ authority in God’s sacred place.  His followers remembered a passage from Psalm 69:9: “Zeal for your house will consume me.” (John 2:17, ESV)

The common people were impressed by Jesus’ teaching, but the chief priests and scribes feared him because of his popularity.  They began to plot a way to destroy Jesus.

Points of Interest from the Story:

    • Jesus drove out the money changers from the Temple on Monday of Passion Week, just three days before the Passover and four days before his crucifixion.
    • Bible scholars think this incident happened at Solomon’s Porch, the outermost part on the east side of the Temple.  Archaeologists have found a Greek inscription dated to 20 B.C. from the Court of the Gentiles, which warns non-Jews not to go any further into the Temple, on fear of death.
    • The high priest received a percentage of the profit from the money changers and merchants, so their removal from the Temple precinct would have caused a financial loss to him. Because pilgrims were unfamiliar with Jerusalem, the Temple merchants sold sacrificial animals at a higher price than elsewhere in the city. The high priest overlooked their dishonesty, as long as he got his share.
    • Beside his anger at the money changers’ greed, Jesus hated the noise and commotion in the court, which would have made it impossible for devout Gentiles to pray there.
    • About 40 years from the time Jesus cleansed the Temple, the Romans would invade Jerusalem during an uprising and level the building completely. It would never be rebuilt.  Today on its location on the Temple Mount stands the Dome of the Rock, a Muslim mosque.
  • The Gospels tell us that Jesus Christ was ushering in a new covenant with humanity, in which animal sacrifice would end, replaced by the perfect sacrifice of his life on the cross, atoning for human sin once and for all.

Question for Reflection:

Jesus cleansed the Temple because sinful activities interfered with worship.  Do I need to cleanse my heart of attitudes or actions that are coming between me and God?.

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