12Jesus entered the Temple and began to drive out all the people buying and selling animals for sacrifice. He knocked over the tables of the money changers and the chairs of those selling doves.13He said to them, “The Scriptures declare, ‘My Temple will be called a house of prayer,’ but you have turned it into a den of thieves!”
14The blind and the lame came to him in the Temple, and he healed them.15The leading priests and the teachers of religious law saw these wonderful miracles and heard even the children in the Temple shouting, “Praise God for the Son of David.”
But the leaders were indignant.16They asked Jesus, “Do you hear what these children are saying?”
“Yes,” Jesus replied. “Haven’t you ever read the Scriptures? For they say, ‘You have taught children and infants to give you praise.’ ”17Then he returned to Bethany, where he stayed overnight.
The temple area was full of people buying and selling animals etc. for sacrifice. These practices made it possible for someone to easily fulfill the sacrificial requirements of the Old Testament without preparation and true spiritual reflection. The merchants in the temple were known to be cheats because the people that came to them were unprepared and had to buy something. Sort of like vendors in a modern day tourist trap. The priest sold or rented the spots in the temple area to the highest bidder. It was all very nonspiritual.
As we read this, remember that now we are the temple. Jesus will do house cleaning within us and in our lives. It will take a while, and it will cost us something, and it will be very uncomfortable. How will we react to all this change? How will those around us react?
Look at what happened in the story. The blind and lame came and were healed and the children came, declared Jesus the Messiah, and praised God. Then the Pharisees came and challenged Jesus. They ignored the miracles and refused to accept Jesus as the Messiah and wanted the praise of the children to be stopped. We are called to be people that those who are hurting come to so Jesus can heal them. We are called to be like the children singing the praises of God. And those around us may accept us, or they may reject us as the Pharisees rejected Jesus.
Lord, help me to come to You like the children and the blind and the lame. Also help me to be a “cleaned out” temple, ready for others to find You in and be healed by You and to praise You. And help me to deal with those around me who reject me, and reject you, with love and kindness and respect and wisdom. Beginner’s Online Bible Study *obbs*