Reading: Luke 19:45-48
Jesus entered the temple and began to drive out those who were selling, saying to them, “It is written, ‘And My house shall be a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a robbers’ den.” And He was teaching daily in the temple; but the chief priests and the scribes and the leading men among the people were trying to destroy Him, and they could not find anything that they might do, for all the people were hanging on to every word He said. [NASB1995®]
When we see Jesus cleansing the temple of those who have turned the worship of God into a business, it is evident that He rejects these kinds of people.
Naturally, we think of all those who take advantage of people and use faith as a form of economic gain. Some modern religious leaders have economic collection as their teaching focus, ignoring biblical teaching of tithes and offerings, and they invent increasingly brazen methods of deceiving. These merchants do not preach the Gospel; no one who takes advantage of another is a representative of Christ.
We see Christ’s rejection of them in his expulsion from the temple, and when he calls them thieves. There is no subtlety in the Lord’s statement.
But there is another aspect I would like us to view in this passage…
When Jesus expels the merchants he is doing something similar to what he did when he entered Jerusalem. Jesus is proclaiming that He expels these thieves because this is His house, because He is the Messiah of God, who has every authority to do so.
In contrast, the scribes, Pharisees, and prominent scholars cannot recognize this authority, because they cannot recognize His identity as the Messiah.
They try to kill him, but they fear to do so, because of the same authority that Jesus has and that is evident here in how the people receive His message.
When Jesus cleanses the temple, and teaches there every day, He is showing who He is. Jesus is the Son of God, the Messiah, and for that very reason He has authority that amazes everyone; an authority that, despite being aware of the plots of those who want to kill him, holds him firm, even in those circumstances.
MEDITATE: In any circumstance, what should hold us firm is our identity as children of God. We cling to Him, to His will, to His grace, in obedience to Him.
Scripture quotation taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Translation By: Emily Stader