On Palm Sunday, which was the Sunday that preceded the crucifixion of Jesus, we observed from scripture that as Jesus was entering Jerusalem He was treated as a “rock star;” but, oh, how the emotions and loyalties of people can quickly change! Check out the following link that describes Passion/Holy Week; then read the following verse that reminds us of how eventful a day it was for the crowd at Jerusalem to see Jesus entering the city.
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John 12:12-13 English Standard Version (ESV)
The Triumphal Entry
12 The next day the large crowd that had come to the feast heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. 13 So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying out, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!”
Now, let’s move ahead to Monday of Passion Week.
Imagine if you were to go to your place of worship and were to go into the sanctuary to pray. But, imagine that meaningful and intimate prayer with God were to be prevented because your concentration, your thoughts, could not be focused on that special time because of the loud and persistent “bleating of sheep and goats.” That is exactly the situation that was present in the temple before Jesus cleansed it. The sacred grounds that had been set apart for worship had become areas of chaos. The “accepted norm” of the temple had impacted the ability of the people to worship.So, here is a question that relates to churches of today: ” Are there similar matters of distraction that prevent intimate worship in “your” church?
Matthew 21:12-17 Jesus Cleanses The Temple English Standard Version (ESV)
12 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.
21:12 drove out. This was the second time Jesus had cleansed the temple. John 2:14–16 describes a similar incident at the beginning of Christ’s public ministry. There are distinct differences in the two incidents. MacArthur Study Bible note.
21:13 It is written. Jesus conflates two OT prophecies, Isaiah 56:7(“My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations”) and Jeremiah 7:11 (“Has this house, which is called by My name, become a den of robbers? MacArthur Study Bible note.
21:15 children. Lit. “boys.” The crowd in Jerusalem for the Passover would have included a large number of 12-year-olds, who were there to celebrate their first Passover, just as Jesus Himself had done. MacArthur Study Bible note.
21:16 Yes. Have you never read. Jesus’ reply to the “indignant” chief priests and scribes amounted to an inescapable assertion of His deity. He quoted from Psalm. 8:2. He was claiming the right to receive worship as God. MacArthur Study Bible note.
Mark 11:15-18 English Standard Version (ESV)
15 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. 16 And he would not allow anyone to carry anything through the temple. 17 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.” 18 And the chief priests and the scribes heard it and were seeking a way to destroy him, for they feared him, because all the crowd was astonished at his teaching.
11:15 temple. The large Court of the Gentiles was the setting for the events that followed. bought and sold.Animals were needed by the Jews for their sacrificial temple offerings. MacArthur Study Bible note.
11:16 not allow anyone to carry wares. Jesus did not want people to continue the practice of using the court as a shortcut through which to carry utensils and containers with merchandise to other parts of Jerusalem because such a practice revealed great irreverence for the temple — and ultimately for God Himself. MacArthur Study Bible note.
11:17 Jesus defended Himself by appealing to Scripture (see note on ) after His actions had caused a crowd to gather. a house of prayer for all nations. The true purpose for God’s temple. MacArthur Study Bible note.
11:18 scribes and chief priests. Here Mark uses this combination for the first time. These men were among those who comprised the principal leadership in the Sanhedrin. MacArthur Study Bible note.
Luke 19:45-48 English Standard Version (ESV)
45 And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold,46 saying to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a den of robbers.”47 And he was teaching daily in the temple. The chief priests and the scribes and the principal men of the people were seeking to destroy him,48 but they did not find anything they could do, for all the people were hanging on his words.
19:45, 46 This was the second time Jesus had driven the sellers out of the temple, and is a different incident from the one described in John 2:14–16. He quotes from Is. 56:7. MacArthur Study Bible note.
19:47 chief priests. The rulers of the temple.scribes. Mostly Pharisees, experts in the law and traditions.leaders of the people. Prominent Jewish laymen with influence in temple affairs. MacArthur Study Bible note.
John 2:12-16 English Standard Version (ESV)
12 After this he went down to Capernaum, with his mother and his brothers and his disciples, and they stayed there for a few days.
Jesus Cleanses the Temple
13 The Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 In the temple he found those who were selling oxen and sheep and pigeons, and the money-changers sitting there. 15 And making a whip of cords, he drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and oxen. And he poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables. 16 And he told those who sold the pigeons, “Take these things away; do not make my Father’s house a house of trade.”
Look ahead to John 11 which took place three years later. Jesus had cleansed the temple in John 2 but found the need to cleanse it again; things had gotten much worse in the temple. Notice the introductions to the temple cleansings in Chapters 2 and 11; the times and settings were definitely different, and were not those of the same event.
John 11:1-57 English Standard Version (ESV)
The Death of Lazarus
1 Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. 2 It was Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was ill.3 So the sisters sent to him, saying, “Lord, he whom you love is ill.” 4 But when Jesus heard it he said, “This illness does not lead to death. It is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.”
5 Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. 6 So, when he heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was. 7 Then after this he said to the disciples, “Let us go to Judea again.” 8 The disciples said to him, “Rabbi, the Jews were just now seeking to stone you, and are you going there again?” 9 Jesus answered,“Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world. 10 But if anyone walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him.”11 After saying these things, he said to them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I go to awaken him.” 12 The disciples said to him, “Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will recover.” 13 Now Jesus had spoken of his death, but they thought that he meant taking rest in sleep. 14 Then Jesus told them plainly, “Lazarus has died, 15 and for your sake I am glad that I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.”16 So Thomas, called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”
I Am the Resurrection and the Life
17 Now when Jesus came, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb four days. 18 Bethany was near Jerusalem, about two miles off,19 and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them concerning their brother. 20 So when Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, but Mary remained seated in the house.21 Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But even now I know that whatever you ask from God,God will give you.” 23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”24 Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” 25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life.Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, 26 and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” 27 She said to him, “Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God,who is coming into the world.”
28 When she had said this, she went and called her sister Mary, saying in private, “The Teacher is here and is calling for you.” 29 And when she heard it, she rose quickly and went to him. 30 Now Jesus had not yet come into the village, but was still in the place where Martha had met him. 31 When the Jews who were with her in the house, consoling her, saw Mary rise quickly and go out, they followed her, supposing that she was going to the tomb to weep there. 32 Now when Mary came to where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet, saying to him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” 33 When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in his spirit and greatly troubled. 34 And he said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to him, “Lord, come and see.” 35 Jesus wept. 36 So the Jews said, “See how he loved him!” 37 But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man also have kept this man from dying?”
Jesus Raises Lazarus
38 Then Jesus, deeply moved again, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it. 39 Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, “Lord, by this time there will be an odor, for he has been dead four days.” 40 Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?” 41 So they took away the stone. And Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 42 I knew that you always hear me, but I said this on account of the people standing around, that they may believe that you sent me.” 43 When he had said these things, he cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out.” 44 The man who had died came out, his hands and feet bound with linen strips, and his face wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.”
The Plot to Kill Jesus
45 Many of the Jews therefore, who had come with Mary and had seen what he did, believed in him, 46 but some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done. 47 So the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered the council and said, “What are we to do? For this man performs many signs. 48 If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation.” 49 But one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing at all. 50 Nor do you understand that it is better for you that one man should die for the people, not that the whole nation should perish.” 51 He did not say this of his own accord, but being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation, 52 and not for the nation only, but also to gather into one the children of God who are scattered abroad. 53 So from that day on they made plans to put him to death.
54 Jesus therefore no longer walked openly among the Jews, but went from there to the region near the wilderness, to a town called Ephraim, and there he stayed with the disciples.
55 Now the Passover of the Jews was at hand, and many went up from the country to Jerusalem before the Passover to purify themselves.56 They were looking for Jesus and saying to one another as they stood in the temple, “What do you think? That he will not come to the feast at all?” 57 Now the chief priests and the Pharisees had given orders that if anyone knew where he was, he should let them know, so that they might arrest him.