Some people might want to identify Jesus as a prophet who spoke for God, and nothing more. But there is more going on here – Jesus was also showing in this week’s story that he is a prophet, priest and king. Just before this story, he arrived on a donkey in the capital, Jerusalem. He arrived like a conquering King, minus the donkey part. He then goes and throws the moneychangers out of the temple, and receives praise from the people for it. He does that in the temple where the priests are supposed to be in charge.
Only the Messiah was supposed to combine those roles. Like we separate the branches of government in Western democracies, the king of Israel was never supposed to be a priest.
He receives praise that should only be due the son of David the messiah, and arrived on a donkey, as had been prophesied about the Messiah hundreds of years earlier.
There were other signs of his true identity – he calls the temple “my father’s house”. He doesn’t preface his prophetic words with “thus saith the lord,” he just speaks as if he is the Lord God. He acts with righteous anger, and yet seems to be justified in it.
Immediately after he cleanses the temple of corruption, the blind and lame enter. They would never have been allowed in to the temple to experience God’s presence before! Then children come and sing of him as the messiah. Those excluded are included now.
There is a message here today for those who use churches or religion, for their own gain and corrupt purposes. Jesus’ kigndom is a reversal of the world order that makes this even possible, so watch out. When his kingdom comes, this kind of corrupt church and Christian will find themselves excluded…while others are included instead.
Challenge: Pray that God would speak through you today, and draw others into his presence through your words and actions.
Meeting with a Group? Your discussion questions are in this week’s Group Study Guide[permalink append=”#comments”]Discuss the Challenge[/permalink]