Matthew 21:12-17 Jesus Transforms The Temple.

Matthew 21:12-17 Jesus Transforms The Temple.

The temple, meant to be a house of prayer, became a den of thieves. These seized upon the need of the people to have a sacrifice to offer, but likely for an exorbitant price (vv. 12-13 Cf. Mk. 11:15-18; Lk. 19:45-47; Jn. 2:13-16; Dt. 14:24-25). This exchange of goods by those too far away to bring an actual tithe or offering of the fruits of one’s labour, was to take place at the market, and not in the temple precincts. Jesus entrance into the temple would fulfill the prophetic word of the last of the prophets, Malachi (3:1). Jesus is the Lord and Messenger of the covenant, sent by the LORD of hosts. For this cause John also records how the disciples were reminded of the words of Psalm 69:9, that zeal for the LORD’s house would consume him (Jn. 2:17).

Instead of being a house of merchandise, Jesus transformed it into a house of healing, for the blind and lame came to him and he healed them (v. 14). Again, the children cry out to Jesus, referring to him as “the Son of David” (v. 15). This continued the Hosannas of his triumphal entry (21:1-11), in fulfillment of the words of Psalm 118:26 (v. 9). The chief priests and scribes were indignant or angry at the sound of the children, but as Jesus said, this also happened as the scriptures predicted, and in making this point he was claiming divinity (v. 16; Ps. 8:2 Cf. Mt. 11:25). This entrance of Jesus into the temple is a momentous turning point in salvation history. This would be the start of a move away from this temple, to the true temple which is Jesus himself, a point stressed by John above.

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