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Sunday, March 7, 2010

Jesus and a whip!

Matthew 21:12; Then Jesus went into the temple of God and drove out all those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves.
This is the beginning of the last week of Jesus on earth; pay attention, these are the final acts and words that Jesus is about to accomplish and say. As Jesus enters the outer courts of the temple he finds disarray, greed, and stealing. He finds robbers, in cahoots with the priests of God, robbing the people by charging visitors to Jerusalem high prices for “approved” sacrificial animals and currency exchange at high, exuberant prices.
Here, the gentle, loving lamb we have come to know becomes a roaring lion! Overturning tables of the greedy robbers and their chairs; yes, even their chairs. That part is easy to miss, I’ve always envisioned Jesus just overturning the tables but he overturned their seats as well; seats that people, perhaps in authority, were sitting in. Can you imagine sitting in one of those seats as Jesus yells in your ear that you are desecrating God’s temple as He forcibly and suddenly seizes your chairs rear legs and pulls the chair out from under you as you go crashing to the ground. In John’s description of the event, Jesus makes a whip beforehand and uses it as He clears out the court. Jesus is serious about sacrifice to the Father. Jesus is serious about prayer. The outer temple courts were the designated place for people to pray before entering the temple. Giving, sacrifice, and prayer are so important to God that He makes an example out of the priests and the money-changers that are robbing His people. Visitors are being taking advantage of and Jesus will not allow his church leaders to continue robbing the people. When Jesus removes the priests and the robbers from their tables He gets to the real business of God; healing the people. Blind eyes are restored and the lame are healed to walk again.
Jesus knows about sacrifice, it’s no question why it so dear to his heart. This is the last week of Jesus’ life on earth.

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