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November 21    Scripture

New Testament: Jesus Cleanses The Temple
"Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, [and] into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, [and] bless his name." Psalm 100:4

Destroy This Temple Jesus said to them, "destroy this Temple, and in three days I will raise it up". The Jewish leaders were very confused about His statement and said to Him, "It has taken forty- six years to build this Temple, and you will raise it up in three days?" They had no idea that he was referring to the Temple of His body, which they would eventually hand over to the Romans to be put to death. But Jesus made the bold statement that He would "raise it up in three days," and this was to be their their sign that they requested. His disciples remembered this whole event and the Words that Jesus said to them: "Therefore, when He had risen from the dead, His disciples remembered that He had said this to them; and they believed the Scripture and the word which Jesus had said." - John 2:22

Jesus Comes to Jerusalem The Passover festivities were about to begin in Jerusalem, and Jesus left Capernaum and journeyed up to the holy city. Multitudes of pilgrims would`ve been on the roads, some in caravans and some in small groups and families. It was a great time of joy and festivity, people would sing praises to the Lord and prepare themselves for the Passover. Every male Israelite was required to bring a lamb to the Temple and make a sacrifice. When Jesus arrived He immediately came to the Temple in Jerusalem.

Jesus Found Those Doing Business When Jesus entered the Temple He stood at the a large outer court of the Gentiles, and observed the men who had set up a marketplace in order to make lots of money from the pilgrims entering the Temple for Passover. The joyful songs and the festivities had been interrupted and the entrance to the Temple had turned into a place of squabbling over the condition and the price of the sacrifices.

Jesus made a Whip and Drove Them All Out "When He had made a whip of cords, He drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen, and poured out the changers` money and overturned the tables." - John 2:15

Many Believed in Him Jesus did many miracles while He was at the Temple and many believed in His name, yet Jesus was very aware that to follow Him meant much more than just a belief in His miracles.

Sellers of Oxen, Sheep, and Doves Jesus noticed that men were selling sacrificial animals that were fit for sacrifice. Their business was very sophisticated, and the Pilgrim to Jerusalem would usually end up having to buy one of their sacrifices for a very high price, rather than trusting that their own sacrifice was clean enough for the priest to offer upon the altar.

The Jewish Leaders Arrive The rich and powerful leaders of the Temple, the priests and Levites, the scribes, the Pharisees, the Sadducees, it does not say exactly which ones but they came rushing out and said to Jesus: "What sign do You show to us, since You do these things?" - John 2:18

The Moneychangers The business of the money changers was also very sophisticated. They would sit at little tables and exchange the money which the pilgrim brought to pay for the sacrifices. The common currency was in Roman coins, and in the Temple the coins were required to be changed for clean Jewish Temple currency. There was actually a fee to exchange this money into clean Temple currency.

The Prophecy of Malachi The ancient Hebrew prophet Malachi was the last of the prophets of Israel recorded in the Old Testament. The prophet spoke about a messenger who would prepare the way before the Lord Himself, and then the Lord whom they were seeking so diligently would suddenly come to his temple. God had truly set up the stage for the nation of Israel, yet the leaders rejected him, though not all rejected him.

The Temple in Jerusalem When Jesus entered the Temple in Jerusalem he was very aware of what was going on around him. The Temple was quite an achievement of Herod the great to impress the Jews with a grand renovation of the Second Temple, and to impress the Romans with the finest architecture in the western portion of the Roman world. But Jesus was not impressed with external monuments, and the work of men`s hands...

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