Ellen G. White Writings

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From Heaven With Love, Page 96

Chapter 16—Christ Confronts Corruption in the Temple

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

“The Jews’ Passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.” Jesus had not yet publicly announced His mission, and He mingled unnoticed with the throng. On these occasions, the coming of the Messiah was often the theme of conversation. Jesus knew that the hope of national greatness was to be disappointed, for it was founded on a misinterpretation of Scripture. With deep earnestness He explained the prophecies and tried to arouse the people to a closer study of God's Word.

At Jerusalem during the Passover week large numbers assembled from all parts of Palestine, and even from distant lands. The temple courts were filled with a promiscuous throng. Many were unable to bring with them the sacrifices that were to be offered as typifying the one great Sacrifice. For the convenience of these, animals were bought and sold in the outer court.

Every Jew was required to pay yearly “a ransom for his soul,” and the money collected was used for the support of the temple. See Exodus 30:12-16. Besides this, large sums were brought as freewill offerings, to be deposited in the temple treasury. And it was required that all foreign coin 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, and it had grown into a disgraceful traffic, which was a source of revenue to the priests.

The worshipers had been taught to believe that if they did not offer sacrifice, the blessing of God would

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