Luke 19:45-46 (AMP) – “45 Then He went into the temple [enclosure] and began to drive out those who were selling, 46 Telling them, It is written, My house shall be a house of prayer; but you have made it a cave of robbers.”
I’m trying to follow some sort of a timeline this week as we keep “Holy Week” in the forefront of our minds.
Today is Tuesday by our calendar. In any event, it’s the second day following the Triumphal Entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. I’m going to try to stick to traditional understandings according to ancient Christian orthodoxy. In other words…RELIGION.
It’s tough for me to stand by RELIGION. Religion never teaches anyone anything. In fact, it makes them practically UNTEACHABLE.
Religion hardens hearts and shrinks the brain down to essentially blindly following various buzz words and lists of commands.
For example, the lesson this morning comes prepared with its own object lesson within a lesson.
Let me shake some rafters. Jesus didn’t die on “Good” Friday. It’s impossible to believe, for us who have shaken off the cloak of religion. It doesn’t work if you actually STUDY the Bible. He had to die on Wednesday if we are going to believe His own prophecy of being in the ground “Three full days and three full nights”. It’s the same for what we are speaking about this morning.
The scripture today deals with ANOTHER temple cleansing.
Yes, there are at least two. The first was way back at the beginning of His ministry in the second chapter of John.
This one today is over 3 years later while He is working His way toward being crucified.
To add yet one more monkey wrench into the scenario, some scholars believe there were three cleansing’s.
“Cleansing’s” is a mild and religious way to put it.
In reality it was a RAMPAGE!
That’s right. No one hated RELIGION more thoroughly than Jesus! It provoked Him to anger AND violence on at least two occasions, possible three.
He violently moved through the Temple Court flea market that Caiaphas and Annas had conveniently set up to profit handily off of the main Jewish feast day called “Passover”.
To the high priests every feast day was an opportunity to cash in.
It’s what RELIGION does. There is always a high profit involved in RELIGION. It was then. It is today.
Let me tell you…Jesus HATES it!
He called those who partook of this scandalous behavior “Blind Pharisees”, “Dens of Vipers”, and Empty Graves”.
Their activity provoked Him to rage and physical action! He overturned and smashed their stands and “four legged tables” (perhaps even some that He and Joseph had built together years earlier).
This scripture is more potent than the first rage in the Temple. It shows Jesus that RELIGION dies hard in a person. His Father’s House is not something to be trifled with. It is to be a shining example of Purity and Holiness!
What does Jesus think of your personal temple today?
1 Cor. 6:19-20 – “Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.”
Yikes, if you are living in total contrast to that admonition.
You might think you own yourself. You don’t.
Even if you don’t subscribe to Him.
He bought and paid for you with His blood on the Cross of Calvary, even if you don’t believe it. How you believe determines how you live, and how you live determines where you will spend eternity after you leave this world.
Yes. During this week in history He came back to Jerusalem to settle accounts.
If for no other purpose, and remaining as non-religious as we can be, it’s a good week to contemplate how things are between YOU and Jesus.
Your 40 days of Lent and giving up chocolate, has done nothing to accomplish or fix anything. Jesus prefers your heart and love. Keep your chocolate.
He died for you. He wants you to acknowledge that. He wants to cleanse your “temple” and make you a pure vessel fit for the Holy Spirit to live in.
Only you and Jesus knows what needs to be done.
Say yes to Him today. Put the bad behavior aside. Stop seeking worldly pleasures. Turn to Him and get it right.
And yes…He will be coming back again!
Keepin’ it Real,