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About-Him Devotional 02-08-03
The life of Christ, from His baptism to His ascension, following the Harmony of the Gospels.
The First Passover and the Cleansing of the Temple - John 2:12-25
John 2:13 And the Jews' passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem,
14 And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting:
15 And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers' money, and overthrew the tables;
16 And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father's house an house of merchandise.
17 And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up
After his first miracle at Cana, Jesus with His family and disciples went to Capernaum. It is felt that Jesus, acting as head of household was moving the family residence to this new location. After a few days the group left to attend the first Passover of Jesus' ministry at Jerusalem. Jesus was enraged and indignant at what He saw at the temple.
The Bazaar of the Sons of Annas the High Priest was in full operation, selling Oxen, Sheep and Doves. Spotless animals were necessary for sacrifice. If one were to bring their own animal, it would have to be inspected by the temple officials. Seldom would one's animal meet their approval. Of course you could purchase an approved animal at a hefty price. Likewise the half-shekel temple tax had to be paid in Jewish currency only. The money changers gladly provided their service at 12% for anyone who didn't have the proper coinage. If they refused to pay, their property was attached.
Jesus, in righteous fury, braided some cords together and drove the animals out of the temple. He then overturned the tables of the money changers and commanded that they take their wares out of the temple.
John 2:16 And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father's house an house of merchandise.
No doubt, the priests were sensing approval from the crowd and didn't oppose Jesus openly. They had heard the testimony of John the Baptist that the Messiah was in their midst, and had probably heard reports of the miracle at Cana. They could not resist the glory of Jesus which this time was manifested in anger, rather than in a miracle. They were made cowards by their guilt. Christ's new disciples remembered the scripture of Ps. 69:9 "The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up."
The Jewish leaders opposed Jesus in a sly way. They asked for a sign or miracle to show that He was Messiah and had authority to do the things He had just done. Jesus simply said, "Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it us." The Jews didn't understand that He was speaking of the temple of His body , that He as God would raise it up again. His disciples remembered this saying after His resurrection. Jesus performed other miracles at this time and many believed on His name.
Conclusion: The Lord is not pleased by the misuse of His house, the offices He has instituted in His church or by the oppression of His people by those who are in authority (Ezekiel 34:2-10). Since He now dwells in believers rather than residing in ornate temples (Acts 7:48; 17:24), how much more is He displeased when we fail to honor our bodies as His temple (2 Corinthians 6:16 ) and misuse the gifts and callings He has given us? I believe that our Lord is just as displeased at those who merchandise the gospel in our day, as He was with the money changers in the temple. Both will have much to answer for at the day of judgement.
Next Week: The Discourse on the New Birth
New The Sermon on the Mount - A practical guide for everyday living that is pleasing to God, straight from the lips of the Master.
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It was the end of the day when I parked my police van in front of the station. As I gathered my equipment, my K-9 partner, Jake, was barking, and I saw a little boy staring in at me.
"Is that a dog you got back there?" he asked.
"It sure is," I replied. Puzzled, the boy looked at me and then towards the back of the van.
Finally he said, "What'd he do?"
Before God we are all equally wise - and equally foolish. - Albert Einstein
Keep Looking Up!
Don & Marie Spooner
About Him! Ministries
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