Day Two Monday: Jesus Clears the Temple

The Last Week of Jesus’ Life

Note: The precise time line of Jesus’ last week is debated. Following is one respected timeline accepted by many final week scholars. The timing begins on Palm Sunday and ends on a Resurrection Sunday. Due to space constraints the following lacks details.

Matthew 21: 12 – 22, Luke 19: 45 – 48

The Temple of Jerusalem was a special sacred place. The temple courtyard encompassed fourteen acres with a column-lined portico all around. It could accommodate over 200,000 persons at one time.

Religious reform was needed. Religion had become ritual; worship had degenerated into works grievous to the core; spiritual truth had become hidden, hand washing had become more important than cleansing of the heart; repeating the Law was more important than keeping it. Conscience had become crushed by ceremony and the joy of worship extinguished.

How could anyone worship in this carnival-like atmosphere? The place was considered sacred, the house of God. Here the Ark of the Covenant containing the tablets on which the Ten Commandments were inscribed, abided. Little wonder Jesus’ wrath was kindled.

Jesus said they made “My Father’s house a house of merchandising.” The disciples remembered the Scripture: Psalms 69:9.

Malachi 3:1 prophesied that immediately after the forerunner, Messiah would cleanse the temple.

Christ ran out the cattle, turned over money tables and gave them dove cages to take out (Vss. 15 & 16).  Isa. 52:13 notes He would deal prudently. His reaction was controlled indignation.

To gain a biblical understanding of this subject, consider two groups of anger. One is ventilation and the other indignation. One is good, the other isn’t. One is characteristic of Jesus and should be of us, the other isn’t a trait of our Lord and should not be of us.

One ventilation is a term used for improper anger, the losing of the temper, blow-up kind.

The other indignation is a term for the feelings of Jesus in the temple. It is a strong displeasure over unrighteousness. Indignation means you become incensed. When it is vented toward sin it is righteous indignation and that is good.

In reality there is in Christ that which would horrify the pacifist. He is our Physician, the lover of our souls, and the Prince of Peace, but He also abhors evil.