Tuesday, 05 June 2018 00:12
IN THIS PASSAGE THERE ARE THREE SEPARATE INCIDENTS.
(1ST) There is Jesus' tears over Jerusalem. From the descent of the Mount of Olives, there is a magnificent view of Jerusalem with the whole city fully displayed. As Jesus came to a turn in the road He stopped and wept over Jerusalem. He knew what was going to happen to the city. The Jews were even then embarking upon that career of political maneuver, and intrigue that ended in the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70, when the city was so devastated that a plough was drawn across the middle of it. The tragedy was that if only they had abandoned their dreams of political power, and taken the way of Jesus it would never have happened.
The tears of Jesus are the tears of God when He sees the needless pain, and suffering in which mankind brings upon itself by rebelling against His will.
(2nd) There is the cleansing of the Temple. Luke's account is a summary; Matthew's is more complete (Matthew 21:12-13). Why did Jesus, who was the very incarnation of love, act with such violence to the money changers and the sellers of animals in the Temple court?
(a) the money changers. Every male had to pay a Temple tax every year of 50 cents. It must be remembered that it was equal to nearly two days pay for a working man. This was paid by pilgrims in Jerusalem when they came for the Feast. In Israel, all kinds of currencies were in circulation, and they were all equally valid. However, this tax had to be paid in exact half shekels of the sanctuary. That is where the money changers came in. It has been computed that these money changers made a profit of between 16,000 and 18,000 per anum. It was a deliberate way to make money and was an imposition on the poor people who could least of all afford it.
(b.) the sellers of animals. Almost every visit to the Temple involved its sacrifice. Animals could be bought outside, but the Temple authorities had appointed inspectors, because all animals must be without spot or blemish. It was safer to buy the animals from the booths in the Temple, but inside the Temple the cost was much higher than the outside. Again, it was a deliberately planned victimization of the poor pilgrims. These Temple shops were the property of the High Priest. Jesus cleansed the Temple with such violence, because its traffic was being used to exploit helpless men, and women. It was the passion for social justice that burned in Jesus' heart when He took this drastic step.
(3rd) There is something almost incredibly audacious in the action of Jesus in teaching in the Temple courts when there was a price on His head. This is sheer defiance. They could not arrest Him, because the people hung upon every word he spoke. Jesus knew that it was only a matter of time until the end would come. Jesus left us an example that we should never be ashamed to show whose we are, and whom we serve.
Life application: Would you be willing to apply Jesus' action today with regard to the many school children being killed at school? Our nation needs for Christians to revolt against not only the killings, but also drugs, and the many other problems in our society today.
Praise/Prayer: Dear Father, I thank You for the example Jesus set for us. I pray for Christians all over our country to rise up and take spiritual action against the devil. We need to be bold, and fearless because we know that You have never changed. Holy Spirit, wake up sleeping Christians because they need to join the warfare against the devil. Thank You. Father. Amen!