Temple Mount: Jesus Cleanses the Temple

Temple Mount: Jesus Cleanses the Temple

 

Welcome to the Holy Land and the biblical site of the temple mount. The temple mount encompasses around 35 acres and was where the temple was located during the time of Christ. See the Bible come to life as we take a look at a key event of Christ cleansing the temple area that took place here.

 

Why did Christ cleanse the temple by driving out the moneychangers?

Mark 11:15-17: “And they came to Jerusalem. And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold and those who bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. And he would not allow anyone to carry anything through the temple. And he was teaching them and saying to them, "Is it not written, 'My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations'? But you have made it a den of robbers."

 

Who were the moneychangers?

They were basically businessmen who took advantage and overcharged those traveling from afar who couldn’t bring animals to sacrifice because of the long distance, and therefore, chose to buy them at the temple instead.

 

Let’s also look at the background and understand the purpose of God for the temple and the Nation of Israel.

God’s plan for Israel was that they would be a blessing to the whole world, a people through whom God’s love and commandments could be shown to all.

Gen. 12:1-3: “Now the LORD said to Abram, "Go from your country and your kindred and your father's house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you, all the families of the earth shall be blessed."

 

The Nation of Israel was to be a kingdom of priest and a holy nation.

Exodus 19:4-6: “You yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles' wings and brought you to myself. Now, therefore, if you will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession among all peoples, for all the earth is mine; and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. These are the words that you shall speak to the people of Israel."

 

Israel was to be a light to the nations.

Isaiah 6:1-4: “Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you. For behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples; but the LORD will arise upon you, and his glory will be seen upon you. And nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising. Lift up your eyes all around, and see; they all gather together, they come to you; your sons shall come from afar, and your daughters shall be carried on the hip.”

 

Christ summed up our purpose, and the purpose of Israel in Matthew 5.

Matt. 5:13-16: “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people's feet. "You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”

 

The temple was to be a house of prayer for all the nations, not just Israel

Mark 11:17: Christ said, "Is it not written, 'My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations'? But you have made it a den of robbers."

                                                                           

What can we observe and learn from these events that happened at this significant place?

  • God’s plan for Israel was that they would be a blessing to the whole world, a people through whom God’s love and commandments could be shown to all.

  • God’s purpose for Israel was to use them as a kingdom of priests to spread His truth to the world.

  • The temple was a house of prayer for all nations, not just Israel.

  • The money changers were corrupting the temple by charging excessive fees for the purchase of animals to be used by those coming to the temple to offer sacrifices

 

What about us?

  • Am I a light to the world showing God’s truth and commandments to all?

  • Am I being an example of a child of God for all to see?

  • Do I corrupt the message of God’s truth in any way by my lack of honesty in finances, by being a bad example, not living out the truth, and etc.?

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