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Posts tagged ‘Matthew 21:12-14’

By Whose authority did that Nazarene rebbe speak and did he such incredible things

“Jesus entered the temple courts, and, while he was teaching, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to him.

“By what authority are you doing these things?” they asked.

“And who gave you this authority?”” (Mt 21:23 NIV)

In the previous chapters written by Matthew we came to see a Jesus who was in everything like other people around him, except for his goodness and certain miraculous things he could do. He was hungry and needed sleep like any other of us. He also wanted some quietness of some time for himself.

Many were amazed about the strange things that Jesus could do. Many wondered how it was possible that this man could do such special things. Some found it also strange that this man dared to pose certain questions  and speak against the people in charge of the temple, though he was not a priest.
He was making great changes in the affairs of the temple, and the priests claimed the right to know why this was done, contrary to their permission. He was not a priest; he had no civil or ecclesiastical authority as a Jew. It was sufficient authority indeed, that he came as a prophet, and worked miracles. But they professed not to be satisfied with that.

Never did Jesus claim to speak or act in his own name. He told the people around him that the doctrine he preached was not his doctrine, but the one of his heavenly Father, Who is the Only One True God. though at certain times this teacher dared to warn those around him that they had to listen to his words and should act on them because otherwise they would be like a stupid man who built his house on sand. (Matthew 7:26)

“But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand.” (Mt 7:26 NIV)

“But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.”” (Lu 6:49 NIV)

Also today we can hear those words from Jesus, by the delivered stories of the gospel-writers. They clearly wrote down the words of Jesus so that people after them also could get to know them. By those writings we also can come to see what wonderful things Jesus not only said but also did.

The question the religious leaders asked was relevant both to the cleansing of the Temple (vv. 12-14;’are you doing’) and to his teaching in the Temple (’ while he was teaching’). The double form of the question is typically Jewish. {cf. Mr 12:14 13:4 Ac 4:7 } The two questions are certainly interrelated but not identical.

The first questions the quality of Jesus’ authority:

is it that of a scribe, or a prophet, or is it something else again?

The second question concerns the source of Jesus’ authority.

The authority to instruct on one’s own account could only be given to a rabbi by the laying on of hands (SB, II, 647-649). The deputation’s question was especially suitable as the starting-point for a lawsuit against him.

Any Jew was allowed to talk publicly about religious questions (as in our social meetings), but if he proposed to be a regular teacher (Rabbi), than he had to be authorized by a rebbe or an other high rabbi or by the Sanhedrin. Lots of people told about this man who was going from one place to an other, always teachings and as such it could be considered that he was making it not only his occupation to teach, but he was also working miracles, cleansing the temple as if a prophet, and apparently justifying his followers in greeting him as the Messiah.

Jesus had no intention to becoming a worldly ruler at that time, getting rid of the Romans, though many thought he was the promised one who would liberate them from those Roman occupiers. By this time Jesus had become very well aware of his task, being a speaker for God, even when that required to put himself aside.

The spiritual leaders of the land did not like this man who was telling so many things and doing so many things which got people away from their teachings and seemed to undermine their position. But many where convinced that he spoke with authority.

“The people were amazed at his teaching, because he taught them as one who had authority, not as the teachers of the law.” (Mr 1:22 NIV)

“All the people were amazed and said to each other, “What is this teaching? With authority and power he gives orders to evil spirits and they come out!”” (Lu 4:36 NIV)

Because Jesus came to see that many thought it would be from himself that he was saying and doing those things, he told them that he could do nothing without his heavenly Father.

“Jesus gave them this answer: “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.” (Joh 5:19 NIV)

According to Jesus the problem was that many did not know the God, like we can see also today.  At that time there was probably not one person who had taken Jesus as their god, though today many have done so and do not see how Jesus was the sent one from God, Who is much greater than Jesus. Therefore many of those persons do not see and are blind for the word because they prefer to keep to human doctrines instead of the words of God and the words of Christ.

“Jesus answered, “My teaching is not my own. It comes from him who sent me.” (Joh 7:16 NIV)

“Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and now am here. I have not come on my own; but he sent me.” (Joh 8:42 NIV)

“”You heard me say, ‘I am going away and I am coming back to you.’ If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I.” (Joh 14:28 NIV)

Jesus told everybody it was by him they could come to see and to understand, him being the way to God, (and not to himself) and therefore he was going to suffer.

“But I tell you, Elijah has already come, and they did not recognise him, but have done to him everything they wished. In the same way the Son of Man is going to suffer at their hands.”” (Mt 17:12 NIV)

“5 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” 6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No-one comes to the Father except through me.” (Joh 14:5-6 NIV)

It is by Jesus we can come to know the truth and find the way to the small gate.

“13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” (Mt 7:13-14 NIV)

“7 Therefore Jesus said again, “I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep. 8 All who ever came before me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. 9 I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. {Or kept safe } He will come in and go out, and find pasture.” (Joh 10:7-9 NIV)

The spiritual leaders of that time where afraid this Nazarene would come to be favoured more by the people and would take their place as a reformer.

Jesus dispatched them with speed, as if he had been loath to have been taken with his task undone.

Jesus was not willing to have a high position prepared by men, nor to be crowned by the multitude, there being only too good reason, him being sent by his heavenly Father. Their ideas of royalty were entirely different from his. Had he allowed himself to be borne on the tide of popular favour to royal honours, His kingdom would have been thereby marked as “of this world,” it would have been stamped as something very different from the kingdom of “righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Ghost” he had come to establish.

Had he been a mere enthusiast, he would have undoubtedly have yielded to such a tidal wave of public excitement; but his unerring wisdom taught him that he must reach the throne by another path than that of popular favour. Rather must it be through popular rejection — through the dark portals of despite and death; and for that, his hour had not then come.

So many years later we should see by Whose authority Jesus said and and all those things. Everything he did and said was done because God allowed him to do that and gave him power to do so. today still a lot of Christians too, like the Pharisees, do not believe Jesus acted as a sent one from God. Many christians have taken Jesus into their god and do not see how he should be their way to God.

Do you think Jesus is God, or do you accept Jesus as the sent one from God, who was authorised by God?

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Preceding

Authority from the One God to one mediator between God and men

Matthew 7:13-23 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The True Disciple #5 Matthew 7:28-29 – The Crowd’s Reaction

Matthew 9:1-8 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Messiah Forgives Sins and Heals Paralytic

Matthew 9:32-34 – How others look at the blind, speechless and demoniac being healed

Matthew 13 – Parables on Kingdom mysteries

Matthew 21:1-3 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Sent Ahead for a Donkey

Matthew 21:4-5 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Your King Is Coming upon a Donkey

Matthew 21:6-9 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Blessed the One Coming in God’s Name!

Matthew 21:10-11 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Who Is This?

Matthew 21:12-14 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Temple Cleansed

Matthew 21:12-14 – From a den of thieves to a house of prayer

Matthew 21:15-17 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Out of the Mouth of Babes

Matthew 21:18-22 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: A Cursed Fig Tree a Lesson in Faith

Matthew 21:23-27 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Question of Authority

Matthew 21:10-11 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Who Is This?

Matthew 21:10-11 Who Is This? – a Question still posed today #1

Matthew 21:10-11 Who Is This? – a Question still posed today #2

More than just a man with authority of speaking

 

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Additional reading

  1. The 1st Adam in the Hebrew Scriptures #8 Looking for the 2nd Adam
  2. A god who gave his people commandments and laws he knew they never could keep to it
  3. Americans their stars, pretension, God, Allah and end of times signs #2 War on God’s Plan, Name and title
  4. The meek one riding on an ass
  5. Infinite payment of sin by the son of God
  6. The son of man given authority by God
  7. Authority given to him To give eternal life
  8. Blindness in the Christian world
  9. Memorizing wonderfully 52 Acts 7:56: the Son of man standing on the right hand of God
  10. Priest, scribes and others with authority

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Related

  1. the Authority of Jesus questioned
  2. Luke – Chapter 20
  3. Words of Life ~ Author(ity)
  4. His U
  5. A King & a Kingdom
  6. Authority of Jesus — It is Questioned

Matthew 21:12-14 – From a den of thieves to a house of prayer

In Jesus time we could already find temples where money was handled. Those who wanted to exchange money could go for that to the temple. Though God had not let build temples for worldly actions like exchanging money, selling and buying.

“12  And Jesus entered the temple and cast out all those who were buying and selling in the temple, and overturned the tables of the moneychangers and the seats of those who were selling doves. 13 And He *said to them, “It is written, ’MY HOUSE SHALL BE CALLED A HOUSE OF PRAYER’; but you are making it a ROBBERS’ DEN.” 14 And the blind and the lame came to Him in the temple, and He healed them.” (Mt 21:12-14 NAS)

John’s Gospel records a similar cleansing of the temple at the beginning of Jesus’ ministry (John 2:13–17).

“13 And the Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 And He found in the temple those who were selling oxen and sheep and doves, and the moneychangers seated. 15 And He made a scourge of cords, and drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen; and He poured out the coins of the moneychangers, and overturned their tables; 16 and to those who were selling the doves He said, “Take these things away; stop making My Father’s house a house of merchandise.” 17 His disciples remembered that it was written, “ZEAL FOR THY HOUSE WILL CONSUME ME.”” (Joh 2:13-17 NAS)

Because being around the same festival (the passover – 14-22 Nisan) both writers could have been writing about the same event. But it can well be that John spoke of an earlier incident. It is commonly supposed that Jesus observed three Passovers in Jerusalem  — one recorded in Luke 6:, another in John 6:4, and the last one on the night before he was crucified, John 11:55. By John we also find Jesus who went up to Jerusalem and found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting.

John also says something about the temperament of Jesus. Jesus was not at all pleased with what went on in what should be a House of God. Annoyed with what he saw, Jesus in a burst of rage, made a scourge of cords, and cast all out of the temple, both the sheep and the oxen; and he poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew their tables and the seats of them that sold the doves. For Jesus it was clear that a Temple for God should not be a house of merchandise. His disciples also remembered that it was written,

“For zeal for Thy house has consumed me, And the reproaches of those who reproach Thee have fallen on me.” (Ps 69:9 NAS)

Interpreters have proposed two explanations:

(1) there was only one cleansing, but John narrated the action at the beginning for thematic/theological purposes, while the Synoptic Gospels narrate the actual historical chronology;

(2) there were indeed two similar but distinctly different temple cleansings. The differences of detail seem to indicate the latter, for while the initial action is similar, Jesus’ statement (Matt. 21:13) and the challenge from the Jewish leaders (vv. 15–16) are entirely different from what John records.
In addition, John places the event so early in his Gospel that it would be difficult to think he wanted readers to take it as anything but an event that happened early in Jesus’ ministry. Thus Jesus cleansed the temple at the beginning as a warning, and at the end of his ministry as a statement of judgment on the leadership of Israel.

You could wonder why the first cleansing had no success at all. But that indicates how the gaining of money was more important than keeping the temple only for worship.

This incident Matthew is talking about, is placed on the Monday morning, when they were come out from Bethany, by the evangelist Mark (Mark 11:12–19).

“12  And on the next day, when they had departed from Bethany, He became hungry. 13 And seeing at a distance a fig tree in leaf, He went to see if perhaps He would find anything on it; and when He came to it, He found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. 14 And He answered and said to it, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again!” And His disciples were listening. 15 And they *came to Jerusalem. And He entered the temple and began to cast out those who were buying and selling in the temple, and overturned the tables of the moneychangers and the seats of those who were selling doves; 16 and He would not permit anyone to carry goods through the temple. 17 And He began to teach and say 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 ROBBERS’ DEN.” 18 And the chief priests and the scribes heard this, and began seeking how to destroy Him; for they were afraid of Him, for all the multitude was astonished at His teaching. 19 And whenever evening came, they would go out of the city.” (Mr 11:12-19 NAS)

Jesus wanted nobody to carry a vessel through the temple or doing business. After his outburst of anger Jesus taught those around him that it was written,

  My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations.

referring to what his heavenly Father, the God of Israel had told His people

“Even those I will bring to My holy mountain, And make them joyful in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be acceptable on My altar; For My house will be called a house of prayer for all the peoples.”” (Isa 56:7 NAS)

Therefore what would be acceptable in the Temple or God’s House are burnt offerings and people their sacrifices brought to the altar. All had to understand that the house of Jehovah God shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples. (Isa 56:7)

“A house of prayer for all peoples” indicates that first of all it had to be a place where people of all nations should be able to come in to pray. Jesus indicated that within the temple there is no place for a sort of market where commercial activity would take place.

In Matthew 21:13 Jesus compares the temple and its keepers to a den of robbers. Thieves often used caves to store their ill-gotten wealth and to plot future crimes. A temple for God does not have to be a place of secret actions, nor for worldly activities. It should be a place where people come without fear nor hesitation to gather in unity, to express their faith and for worshipping God. Everything belongs already to God, so people should know they can not tempt Him with money nor worldly sacrifices.

God allowed people to bring burnt offerings and sacrifices, but any sacrifice of a wicked person is an abomination to Jehovah God.

“The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD, But the prayer of the upright is His delight.” (Pr 15:8 NAS)

God is willing to incline His ear for those who come in honesty to His House (the temple) (Ps 10:17) where pepole also could come to confess their sins to one another, and could gather to pray for one another, so that they might be healed. This with the knowledge that the effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much. (Jas 5:16)

Also today we should wonder what is acceptable to be done in a House of prayer, be it called a synagogue, temple, prayer hall, kingdom hall, church hall, or simply church. We can find a lot of churches where financial activities take place. When you go and visit places have a look into many churches and see how they have stalls for selling things and often also have a lot of statues of people (called saints) with underneath a collecting box. In many churches we not only can see such sculptures of human beings but also of gods, like Jesus (the son of God – for many god the son) and God the Father, which is against God His commandments.

“’Cursed is the man who makes an idol or a molten image, an abomination to the LORD, the work of the hands of the craftsman, and sets it up in secret.’ And all the people shall answer and say, ’Amen.’” (De 27:15 NAS)

All going to such a House of prayer should know that God looks down at the earth and sees all people, knowing what goes on in their heart. All should be aware that everything which goes in against the commandments of God is an abomination in His eyes and considered evil. (Exodus 20:4-5; Deuteronomy 4:15-19; Acts 17:29; Proverbs 15:29; 1 Samuel16:7; 1 Peter 3:12; 1 John 3:22). When people live according God’s Will He is willing to listen to them, at any moment, but in a House of prayer they can find a special place to be in contact with their God.

“and whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do the things that are pleasing in His sight.” (1Jo 3:22 NAS)

In Jesus ‘ time but also later, as well as today, we can find pepole misusing their prime location, taking advantage of people’s religiosity to over-charge and cheat. In many places of worship and of pilgrimage we can find people deliberate making misuse of religion for personal gain. Look for example to Lourdes a.o. so called ‘sacred places’ and notice the whole ‘circus market’.

Jesus wants to see an atmosphere of pure, God-centred worship, free of man-centred worldly distractions. The House of God should be a place to gather to study the Word of God, to meditate and to pray. The Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed, but Jesus had already given a sign that in each person there was a place for a temple.

Today we do not have to go up on the mountain, nor to Jerusalem,to worship the Father. As true worshippers we can go to any place where nothing is against the Will of God to worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such to be his worshippers.

“21 Jesus *said to her, “Woman, believe Me, an hour is coming when neither in this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, shall you worship the Father. 22 “You worship that which you do not know; we worship that which we know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 “But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers.” (Joh 4:21-23 NAS)

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Preceding

Matthew 12:1-8 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Something Greater than the Temple

Matthew 21:1-3 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Sent Ahead for a Donkey

Matthew 21:4-5 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Your King Is Coming upon a Donkey

Matthew 21:6-9 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Blessed the One Coming in God’s Name!

Matthew 21:10-11 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Who Is This?

Matthew 21:12-14 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Temple Cleansed

Good or bad preacher

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Additional reading

  1. Today’s thought “Cleansing of the leper under the Law” (March 7)
  2. Memorizing wonderfully 13 Elija, Elisha, Mordecai, Job, chariots and a house for God
  3. Memorizing wonderfully 20 Mountain and Kingdom of God
  4. Having a small church mentality

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Further related

  1. He Was Moved with Compassion
  2. Watch Well Thy Faith
  3. How Many Christians Are Abusing the Label?
  4. The House of God
  5. House of God The house of God reaches upwards to meet with the cloudy firmament
  6. 5 – The House of God
  7. In the house of God
  8. Cornerstone
  9. This is a House of Prayer
  10. The Proper Place – I Timothy 2 – Part 1
  11. Church at Sardis-2 ‘Of whose house are we?’
  12. Of His House
  13. Today’s Theme Song: House of God
  14. I Miss Reverence
  15. Why You Must Be Glad when You’re Invited to church
  16. God’s Holiness
  17. The Church
  18. Welcome to the house of God

Matthew 21:12-14 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Temple Cleansed

Matthew 21:12-14 – Temple Cleansed

|| Mark 11:11, 15-17; Luke 19:45, 46

MT21:12 Now Jesus entered the temple grounds[1] and drove out all those selling and buying[2] on the temple grounds. He upset the tables and benches of the moneychangers and those selling the doves. MT21:13 Jesus told them all, “It was written: ‘My House will be called “A house of prayer”’[3] but you have turned it into a den of thieves!”[4] [Isaiah 56:7] MT21:14 And the blind and lame approached Jesus on the temple grounds and he cured them.

*

[1] The temple grounds: The Greek is HIERO and is the word that refers to the whole temple compound. The Greek word NAOS is limited to the Temple proper with its two holy compartments. See Thayer’s.

[2] Those selling and buying: NOR: tipped over the tables of the cashiers; KNX: tables of the bankers. The pilgrims by the hundreds of thousands came to buy animals and birds for sacrifice so considerable money changed hands. The chief priests had the concession for this and one can imagine the reaction to Jesus’ actions.

[3] My House will be called “a house of prayer”: The quote is from Isaiah 56:7.

[4] But you have turned it into a den of thieves: Jesus includes Jeremiah 7:11. Or, RIEU: a robbers’ den; LAM: a bandits’ cave; NW: cave of robbers. Essentially Jesus calls the concessionaires, the priests, a bunch of thieves. This will not sit well.

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Preceding

Matthew 21:1-3 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Sent Ahead for a Donkey

Matthew 21:4-5 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Your King Is Coming upon a Donkey

Matthew 21:6-9 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Blessed the One Coming in God’s Name!

Matthew 21:10-11 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Who Is This?

Matthew 21:10-11 Who Is This? – a Question still posed today #1

Matthew 21:10-11 Who Is This? – a Question still posed today #2

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Further reading

  1. The Book of Isaiah-Is.57-“Heritage of the Righteous”
  2. The Book of Isaiah-Is.61- “For All People…”
  3. The Book of Isaiah-Is.61- Trees of Righteousness
  4. Clean Out Your Closets
  5. Third week of advent – Friday – first reading (Isaiah 56:1-3.6-8)
  6. My house shall be called a house of prayer
  7. From a den of thieves to a house of prayer – are you a business or a ministry
  8. The House of Prayer
  9. This is a House of Prayer
  10. 33rd Friday of Ordinary Time
  11. Easter Week: House of Prayer
  12. a house of prayer for all nations
  13. The Battle Lines Are Drawn.
  14. Your temple
  15. House of prayer/ Rumah doa

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