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Matthew 21:12

Lesson # Matt. 21:12
Study Material - Matt. 21:12

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Matt. 21:12

12 And [kai] Jesus [Iesous] went [eiserchomai] into [eis] the temple [hieron] of God [theos] , and [kai] cast out [ekballo] all them [pas] that sold [poleo] and [kai] bought [agorazo] in [en] the temple [hieron] , and [kai] overthrew [katastrepho] the tables [trapeza] of the moneychangers [kollubistes] , and [kai] the seats [kathedra] of them that sold [poleo] doves [peristera] , KJV-Interlinear

Matt. 21:12

12 And Jesus entered the temple and cast out all those who were buying and selling in the temple, and overturned the tables of the moneychangers and the seats of those who were selling doves. NAS

The triumphal entry, as many call it, was on a Sunday and continued throughout the day with little incident. Jesus entered the city and in the evening came to the Temple, looked around, then returned out of the city and went back to Bethany, Mk. 11:11.

The next couple of days will be filled with many events. On Monday, Jesus returns to the Temple and cleanses it of its money changers, then teaches throughout the day. On Tuesday there will be more teaching, a last supper, a trip to the Garden, a betrayal and a first trial very late at night. On Wednesday morning, beginning very early and continuing throughout the morning, there will be a second, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth trial. Then there will be the final order of execution. On Wednesday late morning and throughout the afternoon there will be the crucifixion and many the events occurring during the crucifixion. Jesus Christ will be placed in the grave prior to sunset Wednesday evening, the beginning of Passover. Thursday, Friday and Saturday until sunset Saturday, will be the three days and three nights in the grave, and many events will occur during these three days and nights (the victory announcement, the great procession). Between Saturday evening and Sunday morning very early, Christ will rise up, resurrected, the first of many to be resurrected. This is of course a very quick rundown of the events that occurred during this week in history. So this week is perhaps the most eventful and meaningful week in history. Other than perhaps the first week of the restoration of planet earth back in Genesis, I suppose.

Jesus has caused a stir in the city, left for the night, then he returned to the temple in the morning, Monday morning. Like most folks in the area. Jesus probably stayed in Bethany because the city was just overflowing (swelled to several times its normal size) with people for the festival week. People would come into the city for their various sacrifices, rituals, prayer sessions and such, then in the evening they would go out to an outlying area where they were able to obtain shelter. Kind of like trying to find a hotel room in a city that had lots of events happening. You just can't find one close in, so you go a little further away to the outlying suburbs to find a room and commute in for whatever purpose you are there.

So Jesus sets the city on its ear once again, Jn. 2:14-16. He makes a set of whips and drives out the merchants and their animals, turning over their market tables, and orders the dove merchants out as well.

Money contributed to the church for the support and perpetuation of the teaching of the Word of God was one thing, but these merchants had made the rituals, a principle business. The teaching of Gods Word had since vanished from the Temple, and the teaching of Gods Word was and is the primary reason for any church to exist. Churches that emphasize various social events, fund raisers and such to help people to get to know each other, have lost their focus on their primary purpose for existing.

The Temple merchants had no right to be in the Temple. They were selling the sacrificial animals to folks, rather than people bringing in their own animal from their flocks, herds, or catching their own pigeon or dove. Why bring in your own sheep when you can just go to the Temple, buy a sheep (any old animal will do) and use that one? And of course this defeats the entire reason for the selection process of the perfect sacrificial animal. That selection process was one of the important principles taught in the sacrificial offerings. You might wish to review the Levitical offerings studies. But in general, the offering had to be of 'prime' stock. The best of the best, without any imperfections, without any blemishes.

A wealthy man was to go through his herd and select the best bull he had. Bring that to the Temple and offer it as a sacrifice. A less wealthy man was to go through his flock, select the best sheep, and bring that in for a sacrifice. The poor of the land were required to bring in only a pigeon or dove. A bird easily caught and easily transported.

But now why use your best asset when you can simply go and pick one off the shelf, so to speak. Its simple, its easy, its convenient. No matter the quality - the salesman says it is his best of course. He sells his 'best' to everyone - all day long.

The principles that should have been taught and learned by this whole exercise were lost in the shuffle to convenience. Compromises are allowed into the spiritual life and the spiritual life takes a back seat. The compromises become the accepted routine. After all what does it matter? No one is getting hurt by it. Right?

Jesus went through a very informal entrance the previous day. He came as the selected sacrifice. But people shouted, 'Save now. Save now.' 'We're number one.' They were caught up in the excitement of the event, not having a clue as to what was really going on in history.

The perfect, the unblemished, the un-presuming entered the city and yet few if any recognized the purpose of the entrance. When He reached the Temple late in the evening on the previous day (Sunday), people were already streaming out of the city to get to their rooms before nightfall. It was late. Jesus looked around. Here is the God of the universe, the creator of everything that exists, standing right there in their midst, but people were leaving just as people leave an exciting game that has just ended. The game was good but traffic is going to be a bear, so everyone to their cars and, 'Lets get home!'

Now is it business as usual. The activities overseen by the High Priest Annas, had become known as the 'Bazaar of Annas,' whose priests and other associates oversaw the Temple franchise business. According to historian Alfred Edersheim, under Levitical law, any animal 'approved' by the priests could be offered in the Temple. But the chief priests made certain that animals not bought in one of their franchises would be judged unacceptable, giving their concessionaires the right to provide all the animals for sacrifices.' A very captive market. 'A person would often have to pay as much as ten times what an animal normally cost. As if that extortion were not enough, those who needed to have foreign currency exchanged or who had to have their money converted into the exact amount for an offering were charged a twenty-five percent fee. Jesus was therefore speaking quite literally when He called the Temple marketplace 'a robbers' deft.'

But Jesus puts a stop to it all and drives the merchants out.

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End Of Lesson

Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.

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