Cleansing the temple – Mark 11:15-17

15 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. 16 And He would not allow anyone to carry wares through the temple. 17 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.’ 

In the week leading up to his crucifixion, Jesus went up on the Temple Mount and was upset by what he saw.  Money changers and those selling animals for sacrifice were taking advantage of a captive crowd.  

Both law and custom dictated that Jewish travelers would make their way to Jerusalem for certain holidays.  Passover was one of those.  The “Next year in Jerusalem” wish goes back to ancient times.

In those days, when there was a temple, people coming from far away would have to buy their sacrifices on site.  Who, after all, was about to travel with their doves or lambs that great distance?  The new arrival had to exchange currency, likely at a bad rate, as is still the case today with money changers.  They then used these newly acquired local coins to buy their sacrifice, likely at an inflated price since demand was high.

Jesus calls them out for their unfair practices and presumptive sense that everything would always be okay.  That presumption might have been expressed in thoughts like, “Don’t we have the temple of the one true God in our midst?” or “Aren’t we favored above all cities and all nations here in Jerusalem?”

They should have known better.  This kind of overconfidence made its way into the nation’s thinking before.  Jesus references Isaiah 56:6-7 and Jeremiah 7:8-11 to make his point.

We should ask ourselves in what ways we might be exhibiting a similar overconfidence.  Have we or our church become wealthy, hindering simple trust in the Lord?  Are we proud of our doctrine, imagining ourselves to be the purest church on planet earth?  Has any spiritual accomplishment taken the place of humility and utter dependence on God’s grace? 

It happens.  It happened repeatedly the nation of Israel throughout its history and it happens to God’s people today.  Think of the Catholic Church in the Middle Ages, or the scandals of celebrity preachers in modern America.  May we always seek to serve God in complete obedience, in full reliance upon his ability, mercy and revealed truth to make us whole.

Matthew 15 Verse by Verse

Matt photoMatthew has been hinting at the fact that Jesus is the “prophet like Moses” that was foretold in Deuteronomy 18.  In this chapter the Lord begins to do Moses-like works not only for Israel, but also for the Gentiles.

Matthew 15.pdf

Matthew 15.mp3

 

A Shared Expectation: The Nations in Prophecy – Isaiah-Malachi

Unity, Diversity and Our Identity in Christdiversity
Part 7 of 14

The prophets of Israel and Judah spoke mainly to and about Israel and Judah, but not only.  They also spoke of the nations – even to us.

A Shared Expectation Isa – Mal.pdf 

A Shared Expectation Isa – Mal.mp3

 

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/wildrose115/27623264486

39 Books: Isaiah – The Fifth Gospel

39 Bks Torah Scroll WhiteIsaiah – The Fifth Gospel

No Old Testament book is more important in explaining the person and work of Jesus the Messiah than this one.

 

23 Isaiah.pdf                    23 Isaiah.mp3

Central Streaming: All Things New

20J.P.BRETEGNIERLECHANDELIERVITRAILDHERICOURT

  • What would we think of a world in which all sin and all evil came to an end?  That is what we see at the end of Revelation.

Rev 21-22.pdf

Rev 21-22.mp3

Central Streaming: Isaiah’s Gospel

Logo 1

We find several pieces of the puzzle of Messianic prophecy here in the writings of Isaiah the prophet – adding up to a basic outline of the life of Christ.

Isaiah’s Gospel.pdf          Isaiah’s Gospel.mp3

The Prophet Isaiah

Palmer St. Podcast: Immanuel – God with Us

Despite our massive differences, God has chosen not to be distant.  He has entered out world and is now with us to stay.

Christmas 2014.mp3

Christmas 2014.pdf

Christmas 2014.pptx