For me, one of the most fascinating passages of scripture in the Bible is Jesus’ grand entry into Jerusalem. Imagine this, people going crazy with elaborate gestures welcoming Him into the city. He is riding a donkey and one that no-one has ever ridden before. Some are laying clothes to carpet the road that he will travel on, some using branches of trees. And amidst all of this, people saying Hosanna resounds in the air when Jesus enters Jerusalem. Now, that’s a grand entry! If today anyone of us would receive such a welcome, we would be building our home on cloud nine.
Mathew 21, Mark 11 and Luke 19; all narrate this story. But what I want to talk about today is what happened right after this great, grand entry.
Mathew 21:12 says, 12And 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,13And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.
What happened at the temple that made Jesus so angry that he became violent? He would have had a very valid and strong reason to respond to a situation like that. Because we all know God to be slow to anger, but here we do not see just anger but an outburst of anger.
The Bible says Jesus came to Jerusalem and the first thing He did soon after getting into the city was go to the temple. Or we could put it up this way, The Son of the living God, entered the city of God and directly went to the Temple of His Father.
But, just as He entered the temple He saw something that He very clearly did not like. He saw trading in the temple, money changers had set up their tables. He saw a market in the temple of His Father.
Talk to some scholars and they might say that it was okay for people to buy and sell animals in the temple as they would be sacrificed later as offerings, and money changers were necessary because people from different nations would come to Jerusalem and worship at the temple. The question then arises, what was it that made Jesus so angry? Wasn’t He aware of the purpose of the activities happening there? Or was He being plain unreasonable?
Exodus 33:7, And Moses took the tabernacle, and pitched it without the camp, afar off from the camp, and called it the Tabernacle of the congregation. And it came to pass, that every one which sought the LORD went out unto the tabernacle of the congregation, which was without the camp.
It all started at the tent of the meeting. The purpose of the tent was to be a place where one could come and seek God. Gradually over the years, the tent had developed into a temple but its purpose had not changed. It still was a place where His people were supposed to come and seek Him. When Jesus entered the temple, He saw everything else happening but what was really meant to happen in the temple. He expected people to be seeking God, seeking His will, seeking His purpose for their lives but He was left disappointed.
We are the temple of the Holy Ghost. The Spirit of the Living God lives in us. If Jesus comes visiting today, will He see something in us that will make Him happy or will He be disappointed is the question I want to ask to myself. I’m sure we all want God to be happy and proud when He sees us.
It’s not about the activities we do, nor is it about the work of the ministry we do. It’s about our ministry to the audience of the One who called us out of darkness and into His marvellous light. It’s about our worship that we ought to give to Our God and seek His face. It’s about being the temple we are and fulfilling the purpose for which we have been made.
My prayer today is that we would, in the real sense, be the temple of the living God and would seek Him and love Him and worship Him the way we are supposed to.