Cleansing The Temple & Cursing The Tree

Jn. 2:13-22, Mat. 21:12-13, Mark 11:15-19, Luke 19:45-48 

The first time Jesus cleansed the Temple, He made a whip of cords, it is described in the Greek, as vegetation, not leather, Jn. 2:15. It probably was simply long strands of bedding from the oxen & sheep stables. The whip was pieces of plants weaved together to make a cord strong enough to wave around and get attention, it wasn’t used to hurt anyone. Once he had their attention and was frightening animals with it, he gave them a saying which stuck in their minds, “in 3 days I’ll raise it up again”.  His enemies didn’t understand that he was using the physical Temple as an analogy of His body, which we are now members of.  The second Temple of Zerubbabel which Herod enlarged took 46 years to build. The Jews thought it was preposterous for Jesus to claim it’s demise and reconstruction in just 3 days.  As Jesus went to Jerusalem for the Passover, he meant to clean the Temple again, which he had done once before, recorded in Jn. 2:13-22. This must have been discouraging to see the greed of priests cover the Temple all over again.  He proclaimed that the Temple is His Father’s house of prayer, not a den of robbers, Mt. 21:12-13.  This teaches us one of many reasons, God comes to live with us in our bodies as a Temple, 1 Cor. 6:19-20. Prayer is an essential ingredient, making up our health, both spiritually and physically.The anger of Jesus is seen clearly by overturning tables and sending their money flying. There isn’t any mention of him harming the sellers, but financially, they must have taken a loss, because doves were let loose. Perhaps the most amazing feature of his action, is that the sellers were actually DRIVEN out of the Temple complex. This is an obvious miracle in forcing your enemies to retreat. It is prophesied in Malachi 3:1-2, “Who can stand when He appears?”. On more than one occasion Jesus displayed this power, it happened again in the Garden of Gethsemane during his arrest, John 18:3-6. God’s power within His wrath is amazing and it had the attention of is disciples too, Jn. 2:17. The zeal Jesus had for God’s house, consumed him and when people insulted him for his actions, they led to his death, this was prophesied in Psalm 69:9.  His Father’s house, the Temple was to become a house of prayer for ALL NATIONS, not just Jews, see Isaiah 56:7. But, instead of encouraging Gentiles to pray in the courtyard of the Temple, they made it difficult and expensive for Gentile proselytes to buy their sacrifices, and stole their money in the currency exchange.  The Lord was watching their greedy actions in the Temple, and Jeremiah wanted them to know it, Jer 7:11.  His wrath was seen again in the body of Ananias and Sapphira’s greedy lies as the church was being born, Acts 4:32-5:11.The even connected to his final cleansing of the Temple is the cursing of the fig tree, which was an attempt for Jesus to engrave on his disciples heart, the power of God’s wrath against hypocrisy. Mark 11:12-14, later after the image of the withered tree was in their mind, he told them a parable about the fig tree leaves giving them a sign of God’s presence they would experience powerfully, Mk. 13:28-31 & 9:1.  This world did change at Pentecost and Judaism fell, it has never and never will be restored. God’s Temple is in our hearts, not Jerusalem. These lessons of His Temple must remain as warnings to us. His holiness in our heart should be protected. Therefore guard your heart, Prv. 4:23. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Mt. 5:8

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.