Blake Allen, Dunbar Cave Campus Pastor LHBC
13 The Passover of the Jews was near, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 And within the temple grounds He found those who were selling oxen, sheep, and doves, and the money changers seated at their tables. 15 And He made a whip of cords, and drove them all out of the temple area, with the sheep and the oxen; and He poured out the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables; 16 and to those who were selling the doves He said, “Take these things away from here; stop making My Father’s house a place of business!” 17 His disciples remembered that it was written: “Zeal for Your house will consume me.” 18 The Jews then said to Him, “What sign do You show us as your authority for doing these things?” 19 Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” 20 The Jews then said, “It took forty-six years to build this temple, and yet You will raise it up in three days?” 21 But He was speaking about the temple of His body. 22 So when He was raised from the dead, His disciples remembered that He said this; and they believed the Scripture and the word which Jesus had spoken.
Okay so right before this account, Jesus basically tells His momma to mind her business. And now He goes and whips people at the temple right? Well, for the first part, go back and read last Monday’s post. This week, let’s break down this passage of Jesus driving people out of the temple.
Have you ever been mad at something you witnessed that was so wrong? I think it is very possible to be angry and not sin (Ephesians 4:6). For example, when watching the video of Ahmaud Arbery being murdered, many people were infuriated. Why? Because we were tuning in to something that was very wrong. The emotion of anger is a natural response to something we perceive as wrong. Another example is this: How would you respond if someone tried to hurt a loved one of yours? You might just be angered a little.
So when we come to the text, we must ask why was Jesus so angry? I mean, come on, this is Jesus right? The Son of God, angered? Well, would you believe me if I told you that it was out of love? And no, this isn’t a, “now this hurts me more than it hurts you,” moment. It is a genuine, love motivating and frustrating moment. We see this in two ways:
Jesus Was Motivated By Love For The Father
They were turning His Father’s house into a place of business. This was a place of worship, honor, and adoration for God. This is where you brought sacrifices to God. This temple grounds was holy grounds. And yet people were turning it into a den of thieves. This angered Christ because it dishonored His Father. It was a spit in the face moment, for God sent His only Son to die for these same folks who did not come to the temple to worship. Jesus was angered at what was not right.
Jesus Was Motivated For His Love For Others
Jesus told the Jews that He would destroy the temple and raise it in three days. The Jews thought Jesus was talking about the physical temple. But Jesus was referring to His own body. Jesus came for this very purpose. He was born to die. His coming was for our freedom. While the Jews would sell sacrificial lambs in the temple; they missed the fact that Jesus was the sacrificial lamb who would be slain. God’s rescuer had come to set them free. And His judgment would pass over (Passover) all who are covered by the blood of the lamb, Jesus Christ. And worship would not be limited to a physical temple but in Spirit and in truth. Here is Jesus standing at the temple that was supposed to be filled with the glory of God. Oh, but greater glory would come through a broken temple, Christ body broken for the sin of humanity. But on the third day, He would rise again. Jesus came for this reality. He loved us so much that even while we were still sinners Christ died for us (Romans 5:8). The motivation for Christ’s coming was love.
What Are You Motivated By?
Love motivated Jesus’ ministry. It fueled it. Everything we do as believers should be motivated by love. We know love because God first loved us (1 John 4:19). Love is a foundational component to the Gospel. To lose love is to lose a proper understanding of the Gospel. And yet, so many times, we become calloused to love. This callousness makes it way in homes, relationships, schools, workplaces, etc. Maybe for you it is the waiter who messed up your order. Maybe you are having a rough go at marriage. Maybe its that neighbor who is always loud and obnoxious. Maybe its that person we don’t align with politically. Whatever the case, are you motivated by love? Is your responses reflective of the love of Christ? How many times have you made mistakes and needed the patience and kindheartedness of Christ?
If we lose the motivation to love, then we are no different from the world. Let love motivate your ministry.
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Lord, help us to love as you have loved us. Amen.
MEMORY VERSE OF THE WEEK: 1 Thessalonians 4:1- Finally, then, brothers, we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God, just as you are doing, that you do so more and more.