Luke 19:45-48 (ESV)
And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold, saying to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a den of robbers.”
And he was teaching daily in the temple. The chief priests and the scribes and the principal men of the people were seeking to destroy him, but they did not find anything they could do, for all the people were hanging on his words.
Jesus clearing the temple is one of the few things reported in all four gospels. Luke’s version is the briefest. Since the introduction to Luke mentions that there were many other accounts of Jesus’ life, maybe he felt another long explanation would be redundant – so he just alludes to it.
The activity going on in the temple was incredibly wrong and offensive. The outer court (the court of the gentiles) had been turned into a marketplace where money changers and animal inspectors were cheating everyone who came to the temple to offer a sacrifice.
And the people must have known that they were being cheated. So, it was a pretty convincing argument against the legitimacy of the whole religion.
It had the effect of shaking the faith of the faithful while, at the same time, desecrating the temple and mocking God. It was really quite brilliant – if you’re the devil.
So Jesus throws the tantrum heard round the world and sends their money and their tables flying. The chief priests and the scribes and the principal men of the people had approved this circus, and don’t take kindly to having their “arrangement” mocked and disrupted.
So now merely trapping Jesus in an argument, or to figuring out a way to silence Him, isn’t going to be enough.
He must be destroyed.
People in power never take well to folks who make them look bad. Christians around the world live under dictatorial rule. They make their rulers look bad, and so they suffer for their faith in ways we can’t even stomach.
Christians should make a point of praying regularly for the persecuted church. If you know any Christians who live under oppression, concentrate your prayers on them.
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