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sf231 - Purifying The Temple (Matthew 21 12-17)

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Matthew 21:12-17

Introduction

The triumphal entry on Sunday had begun outside Jerusalem’s East Gate, where a multitude followed Jesus into the city and another large group came out of the city to meet Him and then led the way before Him, spreading clothes and palm branches in the road as they went (vv. 8-9; cf. John 12:12-13).

“He entered Jerusalem and came into the temple,” Mark tells us; “and after looking all around, He departed for Bethany with the twelve, since it was already late” (Mark 11:11).  On Monday morning, after spending Sunday night in Bethany, He went back into Jerusalem.

His coronation processional into Jerusalem the day before was marked by simplicity rather than pomp and by humility rather than splendor.  He was not accompanied by influential dignitaries and a powerful army but by unarmed, powerless nobodies.  And as He had predicted (20:18-19) and would soon demonstrate, He had come not to reign but to die, not to be crowned but to be crucified, and not for the purpose of delivering Israel from the power of Rome but of delivering all men from the power of sin.

On Sunday he had declared his sovereignty as king.  Today he would declare his authority as Sovereign.


1A.      The Authority of Christ Established (21:12-14)

1B.      His mission (21:12)

What He found.

Ø      The merchants

Levitical law demanded that the sacrifice meet priestly approval.

The only approved sacrifices were the ones they sold.

According to the Jewish-Christian historian Alfred Edersheim, a person would often have to pay as much as ten times what an animal normally cost.

Ø      The moneychangers

Only Jewish money could be used in the Temple.

Those who needed to have foreign currency exchanged or who had to have their money converted into the exact amount for an offering were charged a twenty-five percent fee.

What He did.

Without warning and without resistance, Jesus drove out both the merchants and their customers and overturned the tables of the moneychangers.

The whole courtyard was in confusion and disarray, with animals running loose, doves flying around, and money of all kinds rolling across the courtyard.

But at that time the merchants, moneychangers, and priests did not and could not raise a hand or even a voice against Him, anymore than the lions could bite the prophet Daniel.


2B.      His message (21:13)

The purpose of the Temple

Ø      Prayer/worship/evangelism

The purpose of the Court of the Gentiles was evangelistic.  It was a place where genuine seekers could come to find the one true God, but the Jews of Jesus’ day had turned it into a cattle stall and a market place.  The atmosphere promoted anything but worship of God.

The transgression of the people

Ø      God's Temple had been defiled

The one place reserved for God in all the land had been turned into a place of profit and sin.  These merchants were selling the very means of forgiveness; they were profiting from God’s grace.

This is the same sin Balaam committed in Numbers 22-24 when he sought to curse the Israelites for money.  It is the same sin Simon the magician would commit in Acts 8.

Ø      God's testimony had been defamed

Arthur Pink writes, “This incident rebukes the present-day desecration of the house of prayer.  The things which are now done in so many church-houses – the ice cream suppers, the bazaars, the moving picture shows, and other forms of entertainment – what are these but idolatrous commercialization of these ‘houses of prayer.’  No wonder that such places are devoid of spirituality and strangers to the power of God.”

3B.      His ministry (21:14)

To the needy, the unwanted ones

To the children, the neglected ones

2A.      The Authority of Christ Defended (21:15-17)

1B.      The people and their praise (21:15)

Hosanna, save us now! - It was a declaration of His deity!

2B.      The priests and their wrath (21:15-16a)

Indignant, (aganakteo); to be angry, filled with wrath

In their eyes He actually worked against God by arbitrarily healing those they thought were being divinely punished for their sins.

3B.      The Lord and His response (21:16b-17)

His rebuke

Jesus was quoting from Psalm 8:2 and the two Hebrew words for infants and nursing babes refer to children under three years.  His words did three things.

Ø      It provided a biblical basis for Jesus’ refusal to silence the children.

Ø      It was a claim to deity, since the words of the psalm were directed to God.

Ø      It reminded everyone that is only those who are willing to become like children who perceive the truth about Jesus and are saved.

His departure

Ø      These words warn of the Lord’s final withdrawal from those who reject Him.

Ø      If you will not have Jesus, He will go.

Ø      But when He does, life, light and the only hope of salvation go with Him.

Application

1 Corinthians 6:19 “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?”


Matthew 21:12-17

1A.      The Authority of Christ Established (21:12-14)

1B.      His ____________________________ (21:12)

What He found.

Ø      The merchants

Ø      The moneychangers

What He ________________.

Without warning and without resistance, Jesus drove out both the merchants and their customers and overturned the tables of the moneychangers.

2B.      His __________________________ (21:13)

The __________________________ of the Temple

Ø      Prayer/worship/evangelism

The ______________________________ of the people

Ø      God's Temple had been defiled

Ø      God's testimony had been defamed


3B.      His ________________________________ (21:14)

To the needy, the unwanted ones

To the children, the neglected ones

2A.      The Authority of Christ Defended (21:15-17)

1B.      The people and their _________________ (21:15)

2B.      The priests and their wrath (21:15-16a)

Indignant, (aganakteo); to be angry, filled with wrath

3B.      The Lord and His ________________ (21:16b-17)

His rebuke

Ø      It provided a biblical basis for Jesus’ refusal to silence the children.

Ø      It was a claim to deity, since the words of the psalm were directed to God.

Ø      It reminded everyone that is only those who are willing to become like children who perceive the truth about Jesus and are saved.

His ____________________________

Application – 1 Corinthians 6:19

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