Nepaug Bible Church - - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes -

Luke: Jesus, The Son Of Man For All Mankind
Part LXIX: Christ's Identity As God's Savior Seen In His Cleansing Of The Temple
(Luke 19:45-46)
  1. Introduction
    1. If Jesus is the true God's true Savior of the world, any unbiblical practice in the temple site that conflicted with His ministry to reach the world we should expect to have deeply angered Him.
    2. Luke 19:45-46 reports how this was the case, and we apply its lessons for our lives today (as follows):
  2. Christ's Identity As God's Savior Seen In His Cleansing Of The Temple, Luke 19:45-46.
    1. God intended that His temple in Jerusalem not only to be a center of worship for the Jewish people, but, according to Isaiah 56:7, that it also be a place for all the Gentiles to worship Him!
    2. Thus, inside "Solomon's Colonnade", a bordering porch of columns surrounding the temple, was the large Court of the Gentiles where Gentiles could gather for worship, Zon. Pic. Ency. Bible , v. Five, p. 649.
    3. In Jesus' day, a commercial operation had been set up in this court for folk who had come from afar to be able to exchange money they had for animals for sacrifice, Bible Know. Com., N. T., p. 254. This practice had risen due to the Mosaic Law's stipulation that, for the sake of expediency, Jews who lived far from the temple could exchange their produce or animal tithes for money, then bring it to Jerusalem and use that money there to buy animals for sacrifice for use in fellowship meals with God, Deut. 14:23-26.
    4. However, the location of this operation and the operation itself had come to counter the will of God:
      1. First, God never intended that the temple's Court of the Gentiles be used for a commercial operation in competition with the focus Gentiles were to have on worshiping Him there. Indeed, when God said He wanted His temple to be a house of prayer for the nations in Isaiah 56:7, it was announced in a context of God's plan to include devout eunuchs to be His joyful servants to the temple in Messiah's Kingdom (Isaiah 56:4-7), men who until then were excluded from the body, Deut. 23:1! So, to reduce that court to a place where such true worship competed with distracting, bustling commerce was vile to God!
      2. Second, since "only certain coinage was then accepted in the temple from those who bought animals for sacrifices" (Ibid.), moneychangers there could make a big profit off of worshipers who were financially captive to them there, tending to ruin good worship attitudes in the worshipers! (Ibid.)
      3. Third, this scene thus "was disrupting Israel's witness to the surrounding world", Ibid.!
    5. So, after arriving in Jerusalem near the end of His earthly ministry and entering the temple, Jesus as God's true Savior of the world predictably felt outrage over observing this scene, so He cast out the buyers and sellers, interruping the whole bustling commercial operation, Luke 19:45.
    6. He explained His anger, citing both Isaiah 56:7 and then Jeremiah 7:11 in their contexts (as follows):
      1. First, Jesus was outraged that the temple, designed by God to be a place where even outcast eunuchs in the Kingdom would one day be included among the worshipers due to their faith, had been desecrated by the rise of a bustling commercial operation, cf. Isaiah 56:7. Exchanges of money for animals could have been made in the Jerusalem city market, not in the temple Court of the Gentiles!
      2. Second, since Jeremiah 7:11 reports God as claiming Israel had made the temple into a den of thieves where the people had taken advantage of one another just like the moneychangers took commercial advantage of worshipers in His day, Jesus was outraged at such "stealing" abuse.
      3. Third, Jesus was apalled at the deterioration of the Court of the Gentiles into a commercial operation, thus obstructing God's plan that His temple be used as a witness of His truth to the Gentile world.
      4. Accordingly, Christ expressed great anger at it all in His "cleansing" of the temple, alluding to Isaiah 56:7 and then to Jeremiah 7:11 before Jews who would have known and understood these passages!
Lesson: Jesus as God's true Savior of the world was outraged at the way the Court of the Gentiles had been desecrated, blocking Israel from effectively ministering to the world, so He "cleansed" the temple!

Application: (1) May we believe that Jesus is indeed the true God's Savior of the whole world! (2) May we watch that (a) our testimony not be hurt by our commercial efforts, that (b) we not take unjust financial advantage of others and that (c) we protect instead of harming the upright attitude of worship for both ourselves and for others in our conduct, way of life or how we conduct our worship services!