It hurt that a dentist would lie to me. I felt stupid for not asking which tooth he wanted to fill. It felt like I was being taken, betrayed. A few months ago I ate a Peanut M&M and heard a crack. I got it checked last week. The tooth that didn't close was split down to the root. The dentist showed me what was going on. He said, "The filling is fine. But the tooth didn't have enough wall." Now I'll be going back to get it fixed again- maybe a root canal. It's hard to trust people sometimes. Multiply this by a billion and that's how God felt about what happened to the Temple. Sometimes I think about what Jesus went through and my problems seem so small.
The temple was established for all people, rich and poor. They were to come here to worship, pray and offer sacrifices to God. The High Priest was to be God's servant who could approach Him and offer the sacrifices. The Pharisees became leaders. They were legalistic in their religious beliefs. But, somehow they turned the temple into a money making place. It became a den of robbers, unsafe. It's easy for us to lose sight of what we know is right and start embellishing things. A little here, a little there. God won't mind. But He did. He didn't destroy all the people. Instead, He sent Jesus because He loves us that much. There were also many really great Jews during this time period, like the disciples, Mary, John the Baptist's Father, and Joseph. Just to name a few.
13 Now the Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 And He found in the temple those who sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the money changers doing business. 15 When He had made a whip of cords, He drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen, and poured out the changers’ money and overturned the tables. 16 And He said to those who sold doves, “Take these things away! Do not make My Father’s house a house of merchandise!” 17 Then His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for Your house has eaten Me up.”
I believe this is the angriest Jesus became in the New Testament gospels. He's usually extremely patient as He encounters people. He must hate people being taken as much as we hate experiencing it. Jesus removed the importance of a physical temple and chose to dwell in our hearts instead.
Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?18 So the Jews answered and said to Him, “What sign do You show to us, since You do these things?”
1 Corinthians 6:19
19 Jesus answered and said to them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”
20 Then the Jews said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?”
21 But He was speaking of the temple of His body. 22 Therefore, when He had risen from the dead, His disciples remembered that He had said this to them; and they believed the Scripture and the word which Jesus had said.
The Jewish leaders had no idea who they were talking to. They tried to legalistically play with Jesus' words. They were very angry at His behavior. Sometimes when people get into leadership, the brain turns to jelly... just an observation from years in business.
23 Now when He was in Jerusalem at the Passover, during the feast, many believed in His name when they saw the signs which He did.
This was probably a long awaited celebration for the good Jews of the day. Jesus stood up to the religious leaders. They must have longed for someone to take back God's temple. This was just the beginning.
24 But Jesus did not commit Himself to them, because He knew all men, 25 and had no need that anyone should testify of man, for He knew what was in man. NKJV
These words are humbling. Jesus knew how people are, we change our minds, forget. All sorts of things get us side-tracked. He simply didn't commit to them. He allowed them to commit to Him. He allows all of us to make our own choices to believe and trust, or not.
As I read these verses, I remember why we can't do this. It's because we don't have the authority that Jesus has. He is the Son of God. We are to be friends and show love not destroy religions. However, I do believe we can stand up. I am so pleased to see politicians standing up for our religious freedoms in the USA. It made my day when a representative asked an official why contraceptives are so important. Her answer was, "Pregnancies make higher medical costs." His reply was, "Pregnancies are natural."
Children are good. Why would the government need to be involved in something so personal, even dictating to Churches and businesses?
I believe we need more of this in America. Solid discussion with the White House. I'll keep praying for our nation. And claim this promise-