Published on
October 17, 2023

Matthew 21

“Jesus went into the temple complex and drove out all those buying and selling in the temple. He overturned the money changers’ tables...”

Author Photo
Steve Wiggins
Author Photo
Steve Wiggins
Read Time
4 minutes
Matthew 21
“Jesus went into the temple complex and drove out all those buying and selling in the temple. He overturned the money changers’ tables and the chairs of those selling doves. And He said to them, ‘It is written, My house will be called a house of prayer. But you are making it a den of thieves.’” Matthew 21:12-13

I’ve tried to imagine Jesus clearing the temple within the context of all the other images of Him that exist. There is the simple wisdom of “country-come-city” Jesus...almost an Andy Griffith type. Don’t forget the cartoonish Sunday School “felt board” Jesus. And of course, you’ve got the image of the vulnerable blond-haired, blue-eyed frail “Jesus” portrayed by renaissance European Stained glass and fine artists. “Clearing the temple” Jesus foreshadows the returning King redeeming His bride (the Church-at-large) and judging the World.

Jesus announced a new era when he cleared the temple. He sent two emphatic messages to the ruling elite:1) The temple is His inheritance, and 2) There is room in the covenant for all the nations.

Jesus claims ownership of the temple by quoting Isaiah, “MY house…” This was personal. He didn’t say “Your” house, “Our” house, or “God’s” house.

A more in-depth look at the context of the Isaiah quote reveals why Jesus chose this particular passage. Isaiah 56 sends a message of hope for all people. Jesus’ statement: A relationship with God has never been (nor would it ever be) an exclusive Hebrew thing. It has always been (and will forever remain) a “by grace, through faith” thing. Ephesians 2:8-9

“And the foreigners who convert to the Lord, minister to Him, Love the Lord’s name and are His servants, all who keep the Sabbath without desecrating it, and who hold firmly to My covenant – I will bring them to My holy mountain and let them rejoice in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and sacrifices will be acceptable on My altar, for My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations.” Isaiah 56:6-7

Jesus told the temple establishment, in essence, “I am restoring My house to its original intent: WHOSOEVER turns to Me, may worship me here!”

“For God so loved the World, He gave His only Son that whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

Note that Isaiah did NOT prophesy, “Whoever converts to Judaism,” rather, “Whoever converts to the LORD.” What worship had become in Israel had strayed from God’s Word; Jesus was restoring a proper understanding. I pray that the Lord gives you clarity and correct understanding of His Word by the revelation of His Spirit so that you can walk rightly before Him and rightly divide the truth when men claim to be speaking on His behalf.

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