The People At The Temple
The People at the Temple
On the Monday immediately following Palm Sunday, Jesus entered the temple area of Jerusalem. At that time, the temple was enormous, dominating the city, covering an area larger than most American football stadiums today. The outer area of the temple where the market was likely held was called the Court of the Gentiles. Although the temple and the court were both considered sacred spaces, it did not stop the people of Jerusalem from conducting business there.
Matthew 21:12-14 describes it:
Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. “It is written,” he said to them, “‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’ but you are making it ‘a den of robbers.’” The blind and the lame came to him at the temple, and he healed them.
Why is this act so significant? That Jesus took the temple from a place that wasn’t being used to honor God into a place of healing? Imagine yourself at the temple that day in both situations.
The first: You are there buying food and supplies you need or selling goods. What is your focus? The goods that are being exchanged? The list of things you need to buy? Another day at work? Any of the mundane things that run through our minds as we go from usual task to task?
The second: You’ve come to the temple as a blind person expecting nothing and yet Jesus heals you. It’s hard to imagine what you might be feeling in this second scenario. Elated? Incredulous? Overwhelmed? Whatever the word that best fits, it is certainly not mundane.
Do you see the stark difference?
By turning the temple into a common marketplace, the people of Jerusalem had stolen the true purpose of that sacred place. Jesus came to heal us. And by restoring vision to the blind and sacredness to the temple, Jesus demonstrated his authority.
As the children in the market that day praised Jesus, shouting “Hosanna to the Son of David!” they served as a public testament to seeing His display of power.
Let us keep our time with Jesus, and the places we worship Him, holy. Let us remember and respect His authority in making all things new.
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