Larger font
Smaller font

Humble Hero

 - Contents
  • Results
  • Related
  • Featured
No results found for: "".
  • Weighted Relevancy
  • Content Sequence
  • Relevancy
  • Earliest First
  • Latest First
    Larger font
    Smaller font

    The Temple Cleansed Again

    This chapter is based on Matthew 21:12-16, 23-46; Mark 11:15-19, 27-33; 12:1-12; Luke 19:45-48; 20:1-19.

    At the beginning of His ministry, Christ had driven from the temple those who defiled it by their unholy business dealings. His stern and godlike bearing had struck terror in the scheming traders.HH 272.1

    At the close of His mission, He came to the temple again and found it still profaned like it was before—with the cries of animals, the sharp chinking of coin, and the sound of angry disputes. The dignitaries of the temple themselves were buying and selling. They were so completely controlled by greed for gain that they were no better than thieves in the sight of God.HH 272.2

    At every Passover and Feast of Tabernacles, thousands of animals were killed, their blood caught by the priests and poured on the altar. The Jews had almost lost sight of the fact that sin was what made all this shedding of blood necessary. They did not recognize that it prefigured the blood of God’s dear Son that would be shed for the life of the world.HH 272.3

    Jesus saw how the Jews had made these great gatherings into scenes of bloodshed and cruelty. They had multiplied the sacrifice of animals, as if God could be honored by a heartless service. The priests and rulers had made the symbols pointing to the Lamb of God a way of making money. To a great degree, this had destroyed the sacredness of the sacrificial service. Jesus knew that the priests and elders would not appreciate His blood, so soon to be shed for the sins of the world, just as they had little appreciation for the blood of animals!HH 272.4

    Through the prophets, Christ had spoken against these practices. In prophetic vision Isaiah saw apostasy of the Jews and addressed them:HH 272.5

    “To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices to Me?”
    Says the Lord.
    “I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams
    And the fat of fed cattle.
    I do not delight in the blood of bulls,
    Or of lambs or goats.”...
    “Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean;
    Put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes.”
    Isaiah 1:11, 16
    HH 272.6

    He who had given these prophecies Himself now repeated the warning for the last time. In fulfillment of prophecy the people had proclaimed Jesus king of Israel. He had received their homage and accepted the office of king. He must now act like the king He was. He knew that His efforts to reform a corrupt priesthood would be futile. Even so, He must give an unbelieving people the evidence of His divine mission.HH 273.1

    Again the piercing look of Jesus swept over the profaned court of the temple. All eyes turned toward Him. Divinity flashed through His humanity, filling Christ with a dignity and glory He had never manifested before. Those nearest Him moved as far away as the crowd would permit. Except for a few of His disciples, the Savior stood alone. The deep silence seemed unbearable. Christ spoke with a power that shook the people like a mighty storm: “‘It is written, “My house is a house of prayer,” but you have made it a ‘den of thieves.’” His voice rang like a trumpet through the temple. “Take these things away!” John 2:16.HH 273.2

    Three years before, the rulers of the temple had been ashamed of having fled before the command of Jesus. They had felt it impossible that they would ever repeat their undignified surrender. Yet they were now more terrified than before and in a greater hurry to obey His command. Priests and traders fled, driving their cattle ahead of them.HH 273.3

    On the way from the temple, they were met by a crowd who came with their sick, inquiring for the Great Healer. The report that the fleeing people gave made some of these turn back, but a large number pushed on through the crowd, eager to reach Him. Again the sick and the dying filled the temple court, and once more Jesus ministered to them.HH 273.4

    After a while the priests and rulers cautiously returned to the temple. They expected Jesus to take the throne of David. When they entered the temple, they stopped short and stared in amazement. They saw the sick healed, the blind restored to sight, the deaf receive their hearing, and the crippled leap for joy. Children were first in the rejoicing. Jesus had healed their sicknesses and embraced them in His arms. Now with glad voices the children called out His praise. They repeated the hosannas of the day before and waved palm branches triumphantly before the Savior.HH 273.5

    The sound of these happy, unrestrained voices was offensive to the rulers of the temple. They told the people that the house of God was desecrated by the feet of the children and the shouts of rejoicing. The rulers appealed to Christ: “‘Do You hear what these are saying?’ And Jesus said to them, ‘Yes. Have you never read, “Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants you have perfected praise”?’ “ Prophecy had foretold that Christ would be proclaimed as king, and God impressed the children to be His witnesses. Had the voices of the children been silent, the very pillars of the temple would have shouted the Savior’s praise.HH 273.6

    The Pharisees were thrown into utter confusion. Never before had Jesus assumed such kingly authority. He had done marvelous works, but never before in a manner so solemn and impressive. Though enraged and frustrated, the priests and rulers were unable to accomplish anything further that day. The next morning the Sanhedrin again considered what to do about Jesus. For three years the rulers had evidences that He was the Messiah. They now decided to demand no sign of His authority but to get Him to make some admission or declaration by which they could condemn Him.HH 273.7

    In the temple they proceeded to question Him: “By what authority are You doing these things? And who gave You this authority?” Jesus met them with a question apparently relating to another subject, and He made His reply conditional on their answering this question: “The baptism of John—where was it from? From heaven or from men?”HH 274.1

    The priests saw they were in a dilemma from which no deceptive argument could provide escape. If they said that John’s baptism was from heaven, Christ would say, “Why then did you not believe him?” John had testified of Christ, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” John 1:29. If the priests believed John’s testimony, how could they deny that Jesus was the Messiah?HH 274.2

    If they declared their real belief, that John’s ministry was only human, they would bring on themselves a storm of resentment, for the people believed that John was a prophet. The onlookers knew that the priests had professed to accept John, and they expected them to acknowledge that he was sent from God. But after conferring secretly together, the priests decided not to commit themselves. Hypocritically claiming ignorance, they said, “We do not know.” “Neither will I tell you,” said Christ, “by what authority I do these things.”HH 274.3

    Larger font
    Smaller font