"And He Healed Them!" Matthew 21: 12-17
“And He Healed Them!”
This Week’s Core Practice: Worship I worship God for who He is and what He has done for me.
Psalm 95:1-7 Oh come, let us sing to the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation! 2 Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise! 3 For the Lord is a great God and a great King above all gods. 4 In his hand are the depths of the earth; the heights of the mountains are his also. 5 The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land. 6 Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker! 7 For he is our God, and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand.
Scripture: Matthew 21:12-17
And Jesus entered the temple and drove out all who sold and bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. 13 He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you make it a den of robbers.” 14 And the blind and the lame came to him in the temple, and he healed them. 15 But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying out in the temple, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” they were indignant, 16 and they said to him, “Do you hear what these 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’?” 17 And leaving them, he went out of the city to Bethany and lodged there.
The Message of this Passage:
From the Ligonier Ministries: “Messianic expectations were at a fever pitch after Jesus came into Jerusalem on a donkey, and the next action He performed only added fuel to the fire. We will today look at our Lord’s cleansing of the temple and examine what it teaches us about Christ.
Of Herod’s building projects, none were greater than the Jerusalem temple, which he expanded. It sat on what we now call the Temple Mount, an area of some thirty-five acres. Only priests could enter the temple itself, which took up a small part of the mount and was surrounded by three courts: Israelite men could enter the court closest to the temple. Israelite men and women could occupy the next court. But the Court of the Gentiles, which was the court farthest from the temple, was the closest any non-Jew could get to the sanctuary.
From around the world, first-century Jews came to the temple at Passover to sacrifice to the Lord. It was impractical to bring sacrificial animals long distances; so, they were available in Jerusalem — for a price. Most Jews also paid the temple tax at Passover, and money-changers were there to convert Roman coinage into appropriate currency: pagan mottos on Roman money made it unacceptable for Yahweh’s house. Though not inherently evil, these practices became occasions for sin. Pilgrims paid exorbitant rates to change money, and sellers exploited those in poverty, overcharging for the poor man’s offering of pigeons and doves (Lev. 5:7). To make things worse, these merchants set up shop in the Court of the Gentiles, making it useless as a place of prayer due to the hustle and bustle the buying and selling created.
Therefore Jesus drove out the sellers. These merchants, and the priests who allowed their presence, cared nothing for true worship as long as they could make money and keep up the rituals. Our Savior hated this sacrilege, which kept the nations from learning about the living God in His sanctuary.
We cannot underestimate the importance of this act. It showed Jesus as having authority to purify and take charge of the temple, a messianic task that only put Him more at odds with the Sanhedrin.”
For Personal Reflection and Discussion:
What was Jesus’ point as He refers to Scripture? What had they gotten terribly wrong?
Why didn’t Jesus heal the blind and lame before He cleared the temple?
What does “Hosanna” mean? What does the name “Son of David” refer to? What were the children announcing as they shouted, “Hosanna to the Son of David?” Why were the priests and teachers of the law indignant?
If you had been in the temple then, what do you think would have caused a bigger reaction: the healings, or the shouting children? What do you think the priests and teachers were thinking when they asked Jesus about the children?
Why do you suppose Matthew ends the conversation so abruptly? What might Jesus have been thinking about as He went back to Bethany? What might the priests and teachers have been thinking? What does Jesus leave you thinking?
What aspects of following Jesus have made you feel indignant and how will you ask God to transform that which is terribly wrong into something wonderfully right?
How would you define true worship?
How do we open ourselves to see the surprises of God?
Our Lord had a habit of saying hard things to people and then leaving them. Here in verses 16 and 17 is another instance of that. Some of us in our difficult conversations trying to persuade people that Jesus is King tend to explain from our own reasoning and then badger them until they get it. What can we learn from the Lord's approach here?
Does Jesus wielding a whip fit your image of Him? Why is it crucial to know Jesus as the Bible reveals Him, not necessarily as we might want Him to be?
Jesus’ cleansing of the temple at the very least, illustrates how concerned He is with the purity of worship. Our corporate praise and prayer is something that is always in need of reformation. Consider the importance of pure worship from a devoted heart when you praise the Lord in private and corporate worship.