Friday, November 04, 2022

The Vision (11.4.22): The Cleansing of the Temple

Image: Nearby farmhouse on the hill, North Garden, Virginia, November 2022

Note: Devotion taken from October 23, 2022 sermon on Matthew 21:12-16.

And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves (Matthew 21:12).

What applications can we draw from Matthew’s account of Christ’s prophetically symbolic cleansing of the temple when he entered Jerusalem (Matthew 21:12-16)? Here are several things to ponder:

First, we see here the zeal of Christ for pure worship. John notes regarding the first cleansing that when the disciples reflected on this, they remembered that it was written in Psalm 69:9, “The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up” (John 2:17).

Second, we are reminded that Christ demonstrated humility in his incarnational ministry but also righteous or justified indignation at sin. We are also reminded that when he comes in glory he will come as a righteous judge (Acts 17:31).

Third, we need to examine our own hearts and see if we have fallen into the sin of those who bought and sold in the temple. Have we tried to use or manipulate religion as a means to our own ends? Have we tried to take advantage of the good will of others? Have we tried to offer what is lame before the Lord and so profaned his table (see Malachi 1:12)? If so, we are called upon to repent, to have tables overturned and wrong ways blocked by Christ (Mark 11:16).

Fourth, have we been like the chief priests and scribes? Have we been “sore displeased” with Christ and the things of Christ? If this is the case then Christ comes again to examine us. He asks, “have ye never read… ?” (Matthew 21:15-16).

Fifth and finally, will we be among those simple ones, spoken of in Psalm 8:2, from whose mouths praise in perfected unto God through the Lord Jesus Christ?

Grace and peace, Pastor Jeff Riddle

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