Friday 15 June 2012

Bible Book:

"My house shall be a house of prayer; but you have made it a den of robbers." (v. 46)

Luke 19:41-48 Friday 15 June 2012


In yesterday's passage, Jesus had enteredJerusalem to great rejoicing and cheers of acclamation as theMessiah. Now, as Jesus sees Jerusalem city laid out before him, heweeps. There would be judgement upon his city for their rejectionof the king of peace. The temple had become a symbol for Godkeeping Israel safe. This was interpreted by the Jews in apolitical context, with a power struggle between the Romans and theJews in which the Messiah would lead Israel to a military victory.This was not the intention of Jesus. Jesus had warned of the comingjudgement if the Messiah of peace was rejected and now he weeps,for this judgement comes not from a place of anger, but from aheart full of love for his people who would not listen and did notaccept.

When Jesus entered the temple he attacked the practices that hewitnessed. Every male Jew had to pay a temple tax each year. Thiscould only be accepted in certain coins and as there were manycurrencies in operation money changers were on hand. However, thesemoney changers charged for the privilege and made a great deal ofmoney from the pilgrims. Also, the animals bought for sacrifice hadto be of a certain quality so it was far safer to buy animals frominside the official booths within the temple. But here vastlyinflated prices meant that, yet again, money was being made frompoor pilgrims. Worst still was that these booths were owned by thefamily of the high priest. Jesus here sees the house of Godexploiting the poor and making money out of worship. By criticisingwhat was taking place, he was deliberately attacking the actions ofthe high priest. And by attacking that authority Jesus was, inturn, declaring his own authority.

Following this, Jesus shows his defiance and courage as hecontinues to teach at the temple (verse 47), knowing that it willonly be a matter of time before the chief priests and leaders finda way to kill him.

To Ponder

When we see exploitation of the poor how activeare we at shouting out on their behalf, as an individual and as aChurch?

Do you follow the example of Jesus and act withdefiance and courage when living as a disciple? In what ways haveyou done this? In what ways have you struggled to do this? Whendoes the Church need to act with defiance and courage? How do youthink it should it do this?

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