Summary: As furniture flies, and coins crash, and sheep scatter, and doves disappear, and people panic we see Jesus our King laying down a challenge of authority against the spiritual leaders so that He can pave the way for us to come into the Kingdom.
You can listen to the full message here:-
Our King Jesus Having Authority
Only recently has Jesus ridden into town on the colt … the foal of a donkey.
The action caused huge excitement.
Some people were cutting branches off palm trees and laying them on the ground.
Others were taking of their good cloaks and letting the donkey walk over them.
The crowds were yelling joyfully.
Blessed is the King
Glory in the Highest!
There are no two ways about it; Jesus is the most popular person in town.
Now we find him standing at the entrance of the temple.
As Jesus enters the temple He does so when it is the week of the Passover the yearly event which is a reminder of all that happened when the people of Israel made their Exodus out of Egypt.
It was a time of encouragement and deliberate preparations.
It was a celebration were you sacrificed the best offering.
But, as he stands at the temple that is not what Jesus sees.
Instead Jesus sees a monument to consumerism and expedience.
Worship has been pushed aside and the sellers and buyers have taken centre stage.
“Come to the market with your money”.
“Buy a sheep, a lamb, some doves”.
“Guaranteed to meet the sacrificial quality. Make a bargain; you'll save dollars”.
Sure, it looks like a generous offer, but look deeper.
Traders still need cover costs – you can only sell at the temple if you pay a levy.
It also provides convenience. No preparation needed, just a bit of cash.
And that is not all that is going on. You cannot pay the temple tax with Roman coins, or any foreign coins, because they are stamped with pagan symbols. Everyone had to pay their tax with Jewish coins. So a very lucrative business was being had by the money changers.
“Come to my money changing stand and I will give you a good rate of exchange”. It’s funny how rates of exchange seem to rapidly increase when unsuspecting Jews from far away countries come to buy their Jewish coins.
This is what greets Jesus as he stands at the temple.
Traders and sellers mocking the foundations of the temple as they raked in the profits.
Worshippers coming with less than pure motives hoping to make their sacrifice at a bargain price.
It all happens because the temple authorities want it this way.
This is the temple.
Not the inner courts where the sacrifices were made and where the priests worked.
We are still in the outer court.
It was the place where circumcised and non-circumcised worship and praised and prayed together. It was the place where teachers instructed students and converts to the faith. It was meant to be a place of reflection and peace.
It was the job of the temple leaders … the spiritual teachers … the Pharisees and Sadducees and Priests and Scribes … it was their job to make sure this is how the temple functioned.
They are not doing their job. Instead they have allowed the temple to become a place of consumerism, spiritual-short-cuts, and a hindrance for the people in their thankful worship to God.
Jesus is standing at the entrance of the temple.
“What is He here for?” “What is He going to do?”.
Open your Bible to Luke 19:45. We are going to read what Jesus does.
I can guarantee that no-one expected that to happen.
In the past Jesus has driven out demons from possessed people … with that same passion and authority He drives these people out of the temple court.
Turning over tables.
Pushing over chairs.
Doves are flying free all over the place.
Sheep and lambs run around in confused chaos chased by equally confused owners.
There are money-changers knelling all over the floor, scooping as many scattered coins as they can into the folds of their cloths.
We are not being exposed here to a religious fanatic gone mad – which is no doubt what the buyers and sellers and money-changers thought of Jesus. Rather this is our King who is determined to made sure we are not hindered as we seek our place in His kingdom.
We know this is the case because of what Jesus says.
It is written.
Jesus is in the temple … the peak institution where Scripture is taught.
The place where the best teachers and spiritual leaders gather.
In the temple there is no higher authority than Scripture.
It is written
This is the moment Jesus turns his attention to the ones who are responsible for allowing the temple to become a place on hindrance … the Pharisees and Sadducees and Priests and Scribes.
My house will be a house of prayer
Jesus is quoting from Isaiah 56:7. This is the bigger context:-