Saturday, March 3
Scripture: John 2:13-22
The Passover celebration took place yearly at the temple in Jerusalem. Jewish males were expected to make a pilgrimage to Jerusalem during this time.
The temple was always crowded with out-of-town visitors. The religious leaders allowed money changers and merchants to set up booths in the court of the Gentiles, as a convenience for the worshippers and as a way to make money for the upkeep of the temple. But this was not the purpose for visiting the temple, and this is why Jesus was angry.
The temple tax had to be paid in local currency, so the money changers charged exorbitant exchange rates. Also, the people were required to make sacrifices for sins. Because of the long journey the people could not bring their own animals, so the merchants charged higher prices for their animals. They were making a mockery of God’s house of worship.
Jesus teaches us that there is a difference between uncontrolled rage and righteous indignation – yet both are called anger. It is right to be angry about injustice and sin; it is wrong to be angry over trivial personal offenses.
Jesus made a whip and chased out the money changers. He took the evil acts in the temple as an insult against God. He was consumed with anger for such flagrant disrespect for God.
When Jesus was asked, “What sign can you show as authority to do this?” He said, “Destroy this temple and I will raise it again in three days.” Jesus was not talking about the temple made of stones, but about his body.
Those listening didn’t realize it, but Jesus was greater than the temple. His words would be understood by his disciples after his resurrection. Christ’s fulfillment of this prediction of his resurrection became the strongest proof for his claim to be from God.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, bring us closer to that perfection from which you emanated.
– Warren Brooks