Matthew 21:12-17 12 Jesus entered the Temple and began to drive out all the people buying and selling animals for sacrifice. He knocked over the tables of the money changers and the chairs of those selling doves. 13 He said to them, “The Scriptures declare, ‘My Temple will be called a house of prayer,’ but you have turned it into a den of thieves!” 14 The blind and the lame came to him in the Temple, and he healed them. 15 The leading priests and the teachers of religious law saw these wonderful miracles and heard even the children in the Temple shouting, “Praise God for the Son of David.” But the leaders were indignant. 16 They asked Jesus, “Do you hear what these children are saying?” Yes,” Jesus replied. “Haven’t you ever read the Scriptures? For they say, ‘You have taught children and infants to give you praise.’” 17 Then he returned to Bethany, where he stayed overnight.
Yesterday we reviewed Palm Sunday, the triumphal entry of our King Jesus. He knew that the time was drawing near…the time of the cross. He had taught so diligently and lovingly throughout his earthly ministry as fully man yet fully God. He had worked to prepare the disciples. He had performed miracles, cast out demons, and oh, had he upset the Pharisees and Sadducees. They would not give up until they saw Him crucified.
He entered Jerusalem in peace on a gentle donkey. He was greeted with adoration and praises were sung to Him. Our Lord was recognized for his Kingship. Today, we pick up where we left off yesterday. While in Jerusalem, Jesus entered the temple complex and found people buying and selling within the temple for personal profit. They were not selling goods to establish the temple, make repairs, nor maintain the temple. These people were buying and selling for their own personal profit. They were making money off of the temple guests. This angered Jesus. He had to cleanse the temple of this egregiously dishonorable act that was ongoing within the temple.
We always see Jesus as this loving, compassionate King, but at this moment, we see His anger. We feel His pain. He was hurt that people were using the temple for personal profit. They were using the place worship as a marketplace for personal gain. He was upset! He was upset enough to overturn tables. I bet this got their attention. “He said to them, “The Scriptures declare, ‘My Temple will be called a house of prayer,’ but you have turned it into a den of thieves!”” (Matthew 21:13) Jesus is referencing scripture from Isaiah 56:7, “Even those I will bring to My holy mountain And make them joyful in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be acceptable on My altar; For My house will be called a house of prayer for all the peoples.”
After cleansing the temple of the money changers, Jesus began healing. He healed the blind and the lame that came to the temple. The chief priests and scribes saw this, and they began more indignant and determined to stop Him. Yet, the little children who saw these things sang praises, ““Praise God for the Son of David.” The priests and scribes asked Jesus if He heard what the children were saying, and again, Jesus quoted scripture to them. “‘You have taught children and infants to give you praise.” We see this in Psalm 8:2.
After this, Jesus left them. He went out of the city to Bethany and spent the night there. I can’t imagine the emotions our Lord and Savior was enduring as the days to the cross began dwindling quickly away. I will never understand it completely, but I will always be forever grateful that our King took on a cross for someone as insignificant as me.
Stay tuned for more events of the Holy Week…..