Incident in the Temple
Holy One, I give You permission to cleanse the temple of my life.
Read Luke 19:45–48
 When Jesus entered the temple courts, he began to drive out those who were selling.  “It is written,” he said to them, “‘My house will be a house of prayer’; but you have made it ‘a den of robbers.'”  Every day he was teaching at the temple. But the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the leaders among the people were trying to kill him.  Yet they could not find any way to do it, because all the people hung on his words. Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhy did Jesus do what he did?
Freshly arrived in Jerusalem, Jesus heads straight for the Temple. He makes a massive statement at the heart of the city, at the heart of Israel’s whole way of life and self-understanding. This incident is recorded in all four gospels, but Luke’s version is remarkably short. We cannot say whether Jesus’ act here was aggressive, or center-stage, or the occasion of a whole long public denouncement. But it was certainly shocking: an unmistakable declaration of intent. Jesus contrasts Isaiah’s great vision of what the Temple should be (Isa. 56:7—“a house of prayer for all nations”) with Jeremiah’s despairing critique of what the Temple has become (Jer. 7:11—”a den of robbers”). And if the Temple—at the heart of everything—is not right, then everything is not right. Jesus’ claim to be challenging the current understanding of how to live for God is not missed by anyone. So it makes sense that, just one verse later, his opponents are trying to kill him. He’s started something that cannot end well, at least this side of the resurrection.
There are occasions for all of us when the God of love must confront us in judgment. Cultivate openness to him.
Lord, forgive me for trying to “tame” You into being docile. Have Your full way in me.
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