Today is Monday, the beginning of our work week. On His last Monday before His death, Jesus set about His work as King Jesus.
So they came to Jerusalem. Then Jesus went into the temple and began to drive out those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves. And He would not allow anyone to carry wares through the temple. Then He taught, saying to them, "Is it not written, 'My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations'? But you have made it a 'den of thieves.'"
~ Mark 11:15-17 (NKJV)
(As mentioned in yesterday's post [Acclaim], according to Mark's Gospel the temple cleansing occurred on Monday rather than Sunday, as is traditionally held.)
Random observations about Jesus' first day as King and some implications for us:
• On His way to Jerusalem, Jesus passed a fig tree. It's covering of leaves indicated fruit should be present, though it was the season for neither leaves nor figs—and the tree indeed proved to be naked of fruit. The Bible's first mention of fig leaves is their covering of Adam and Eve's nakedness, when they shouldn't have had fruit. On both occasions, God's investigation results in His curse upon His creation, a rare occurrence. (I've no idea how to make an application for this, but the connection interests me.)
• At the beginning of His ministry, on a previous Passover, Jesus fashioned a whip of cords to drive sellers from the temple (John 2:14-17). But in this temple cleansing, no mention is made of a whip, suggesting that perhaps His coming as King was now sufficient authority.
• Jesus did not simply "clean house" and drive out the sellers as a single event, but continued to turn away anyone else who might carry wares through the temple (Mark 11:16, above).
• Preachers and commentators usually surmise that Jesus called the sellers "thieves" because of unfair rates on money exchange and exorbitant prices on sacrificial animals. But since Jesus refers to the temple being a house of prayer, He may have been even more offended about the praise and attention being stolen from God.
• Jesus spent His final days in Jerusalem, but He did not make Jerusalem His dwelling place and stay there at night.* He knew the Jewish crowds had offered only a superficial welcome to their King, anticipating a kingdom of their choosing. King Jesus will reside in Jerusalem on a future day, when the people of Israel have accepted the kingdom He offers (Ezekiel 43:6-7).
• We no longer live in an era when sacrifices are offered to the Lord our God in a temple. Now, our bodies are both living sacrifices (Romans 12:1) and temple of God:
Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.
~ 1 Corinthians 3:16-17 (NKJV)
* Sunday and Monday nights were spent in Bethany (Mark 11:11, Matthew 21:17. Tuesday and Wednesday nights were spent on Mount Olivet (Luke 21:37, Luke 22:39).
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Copyright 2013, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.
- Does the Resurrection Matter?
- Jesus' Last Days VII – Excuse
- Jesus' Last Days VI – Preparing for Passover
- Jesus' Last Days V – Feast of Words
- Jesus' Last Days IV – King Jesus
- Jesus' Last Days III – Acclaim
- Jesus' Last Days II – Fragrance of Love
- Jesus' Last Days I – Son of David
- Winning at Monopoly
- The Case for Love: Damning Evidence
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