By Wayne Braudrick
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.
He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you make it a den of robbers.” And the blind and the lame came to him in the temple, and he healed them. 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, 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’?” Matthew 21:12-16 (ESV)
Son of David
Christians sometimes study this final temple cleansing performed by Jesus. That’s wonderful and instructive. However, the cry of the children is often lost in the shuffle. It is very important that Jesus doesn’t silence theses little ones who call him a clearly Messianic name. In the scribes’ accurate assessment of the title “Son of David,” such worship should only be directed to God. By letting the kids praise Him, Jesus is claiming Messianic divinity.
One of the major themes of Matthew is here repeated: child-like trust is necessary to truly understand Jesus. The King is God. He purifies worship, and yet He seems to only be understood by the crippled and the children. As for the big and powerful people, true worship is not realized because they are more concerned about their rules or about what they bring to the table for God. The temple leaders who allow for usurious money-changing in violation of God’s Law are obviously more worried about the amount of coin in their own pocket than they are about worshipping God rightly.
Thank goodness we’re not like that!
Friends, when we Christians worry about “our own” dollars more than worshipping God with His money; when we get wrapped up in legalism or favoritism or pride; when we lose sight of who Jesus really is … We should remember that the resurrected Carpenter who cleared the temple in Matthew 21 promises to cleanse the temples of our lives as well. The Carpenter still has a strong arm.
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