Matthew 21 … Consider Him Who Cleansed the Temple

Jesus enters Jerusalem…

This historic scene is often referred to as “His Triumphal Entry.” And more than five-hundred years prior, the prophet Zechariah prophesied of the coming King:

Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!
Shout in triumph, O daughter of Jerusalem!
Behold, your king is coming to you;
He is just and endowed with salvation,
Humble, and mounted on a donkey,
Even on a colt, the foal of a donkey, (Zechariah 9:9).

And the people are exuberant to be a part of prophecy fulfilled, demonstrated in their outward displays of admiration and reverence for the One Who came in the Name of the Lord, the Son of David:

Most of the crowd spread their coats in the road, and others were cutting branches from the trees and spreading them in the road. The crowds going ahead of Him, and those who followed, were shouting,

“Hosanna to the Son of David;
Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord;
Hosanna in the highest!” (21:8-9).

Jesus entered Jerusalem as the Son of David, in humility and peace; and He would enter the temple as the Son of God, in His holiness and righteous authority.

And Jesus entered the temple and drove out all those who were buying and selling in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who were selling doves, (21:12).

God’s temple was to be the place where His glory would dwell, where the offerings and atonement for sin would be manifest. His temple would provide His people the fellowship of His Presence.

But man has a way of messing up the best laid plans…

And Jesus entered the temple…

Consider Him Who Cleansed the Temple

  • He Cleansed the Temple; that it would be Free from self-interest and greed.
    • And Jesus entered the temple and drove out all those who were buying and selling in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who were selling doves, (21:12).
  • He Cleansed the Temple; that it would be a House of Prayer.
    • And He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer’; but you are making it a robbers’ den,” (21:13).
  • He Cleansed the Temple; that it would be a Place of Communion and Healing.
    • And the blind and the lame came to Him in the temple, and He healed them, (21:14).
  • He Cleansed the Temple; that it would be a Call to Worship.
    • But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that He had done, and the children who were shouting in the temple, “Hosanna to the Son of David…” (21:15).
  • He Cleansed the Temple; that it would be a Place of Truth.
    • …“Do You hear what these children are saying?” And Jesus said to them, “Yes; have you never read, ‘Out of the mouth of infants and nursing babies You have prepared praise for Yourself’?” (21:15-16).
  •  He Cleansed the Temple; but unbelief will drive Him away.
    •  But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that He had done, and the children who were shouting in the temple, “Hosanna to the Son of David,” they became indignant… And He left them and went out of the city and spent the night there, (21:15, 17).

How do we respond to Him Who Cleansed the Temple?

As we consider our own bodies as the temple of His Holy Spirit: Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?”  (1 Corinthians 6:19); we have some serious self-examination to undergo.

Even when we are a born-again child of God, we sin and grievously mess up God’s best laid plans. Today, let us place ourselves at His feet and invite Him Who Cleansed the Temple to have His perfect, cleansing way in our lives.

  • Lord, I am unclean and succumb to self-interest and greed. Cleanse me and free me from self, that I may become more like You.
    •  Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, (Philippians 2:3-5).
  • Lord, I am unclean and often seek the world’s answers rather than You in prayer. Cleanse me to become Your dwelling place of joy and unceasing prayer.
    • Rejoice always; 17 pray without ceasing; 18 in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus, (1 Thessalonians 5:16-17).
  • Lord, I am unclean and allow my judgmental spirit to separate me from communion with You and others. Cleanse me that You would use me to communicate Your unifying love and healing to any and all You bring into my life.
    •  The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; 23 I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me, (John 17:22-23).
  • Lord, I am unclean and battle to surrender my all to You. Cleanse me to daily reflect on Your amazing grace and mercy; that I would offer You, as an act of spiritual worship, everything I am and do.
    • Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship, (Romans 12:1).
  • Lord, I am unclean and am easily swayed by lies. Cleanse me to relentlessly pursue You in Truth.
    • Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me, (John 14:6).
    • “Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth, (John 17:17).
  • Lord, I am unclean and so often weak in my faith. Cleanse me that You would make Your home in my heart through faith
    • …so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; (Ephesians 3:17).
    • “I do believe; help my unbelief,” (Mark 9:24).

Let’s Grow Together!

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