Ellen G. White Writings

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Humble Hero, Page 64

Christ Confronts Corruption in the Temple

This chapter is based on John 2:12-22. HH 64

“Now the Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.” Jesus had not yet announced His mission publicly, and He mingled unnoticed with the crowd. On these occasions, the Messiah’s coming was often the theme of conversation. Jesus knew that their hope of national greatness would be disappointed, for it was based on a misinterpretation of Scripture. With deep earnestness, He explained the prophecies and tried to stir up the people to study God’s Word more closely. HH 64.1

At Jerusalem during the Passover week, large numbers of people assembled from all parts of Palestine, and even from distant lands. The temple courts were filled with a great variety of people. Many were unable to bring with them the sacrifices they were to offer as representing the one great Sacrifice. For their convenience, animals were bought and sold in the outer court. HH 64.2

Every Jew was required to pay “a ransom for himself” each year, and the money collected helped to support the temple. See Exodus 30:12-16. Besides this, people brought large sums as freewill offerings to be deposited in the temple treasury. And all foreign coins had to be changed for a coin called the temple shekel, which was accepted for the service of the sanctuary. The money-changing gave opportunity for fraud and extortion. It had grown into a disgraceful business, which was a source of income to the priests. HH 64.3

The worshipers had been taught to believe that if they did not offer sacrifices, the blessing of God would not rest on their children or their lands. The dealers demanded exorbitant prices for the animals sold, and they shared their profits with the priests and rulers, who enriched themselves this way at the expense of the people. HH 64.4

Financial Corruption at the Heart of God’s Work

Sharp bargaining, the lowing of cattle, the bleating of sheep, the cooing of doves, mingled with the chinking of coin and angry disputing. The confusion was so great that the uproar drowned out the words directed to the Most High. The Jews rejoiced over their temple and regarded a word spoken in criticism of it as blasphemy, but HH 64.5

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