It was Passover—late March or early April—a pleasant time of year in Jerusalem. But inside the Temple, things were not so pleasant. The smell of animals and the clinking of coins indicated that the people had lost sight of the Temple as a “house of prayer,” and had turned it into a “den of robbers” (Luke 19:45). So, Jesus made a whip out of rope and drove the moneychangers out along with the lowing oxen and bleating sheep. He took his stance as one of the prophets of the Hebrew Bible and critiqued the lifeless formalism of their religion. The people asked him what authority he had for doing such things. After all, the leading priests permitted them to do a little business on the side there in the Temple environs, but along came a yokel from Galilee with a whip! “What sign do you show us for doing these things?” (v. 18) His answer? “Destroy this ‘temple’ (his body) and I will raise it in three days” (v. 19). Now that’s a sign! “I will die, but then three days later, I will come back to life.”
What does this mean?
For years no one could figure out what he meant, but “when he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this,” and they believed (v. 22).
Have you believed? If not, you might wonder, as the people of Jerusalem wondered, “Who does this guy think he is? He rolls into my life and starts rearranging the furniture. He wants me to give up everything to become his disciple? He wants me to forgive whom? Who does he think he is?”
Who is Jesus?
He is the messiah, the shepherd-warrior-king in the line of David, who came to regather the nation of Israel and to open its doors to Gentiles. That’s who he thinks he is. And the resurrection proves that God his Father thinks so too.
Do you believe?
Written by Jeffrey Arthurs
Artwork by Bernadette Lopez, Jesus overturns the tables in the temple – Jésus chasse les vendeurs du Temple, http://www.evangile-et-peinture.org/index.php/evangile-maison/evangile-selon-luc/449-jesus-chasse-les-vendeurs-du-temple