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Jesus in the temple
Bible Passage Mark 11:15-25
This content is part of a series Bright Morning Reflections, in topic 2024 & books ISAIAH, Jeremiah, Mark, Matthew.

Jesus in the temple

  • Rev. Bright Mawuena Nfodzo
Date preached March 25, 2024

15 When they came to Jerusalem, he went into the Temple and began to throw out those who were selling and those who were buying in the Temple. He overturned the moneychangers’ tables and the chairs of those who sold doves.

16 He wouldn’t even let anyone carry a vessel through the Temple.

17 Then he began to teach them: “It is written, is it not, ‘My house is to be called a house of prayer for all nations’? But you’ve turned it into a hideout for bandits!”

18 When the high priests and elders heard this, they began to look for a way to kill him, because they were afraid of him, since the whole crowd was amazed at his teaching.

19 When evening came, Jesus and his disciples would leave the city.

20 While they were walking along early the next morning, they saw the fig tree dried up to its roots.

21 Remembering what Jesus had said, Peter pointed out to him, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree you cursed has dried up!”

22 Jesus told his disciples, “Have faith in God!

23 I tell all of you with certainty, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ if he doesn’t doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him.

24 That is why I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it and it will be yours.

25 “Whenever you stand up to pray, forgive whatever you have against anyone, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins.

After Jesus’ triumphant entry to Jerusalem, He entered the temple but it was not ready for God. God had come to His temple. (See Malachi 3:1-3). Inside its gates, people were doing business. There was a market in its yard. Some people were selling the special coins that people used in the temple. Other people were selling birds and animals. People bought birds and animals there to give them to God.

The temple had a proper purpose. That purpose was certainly not business. The temple was a place for people to pray. People from other countries would see how the Jews prayed and learn about God and they would pray too (2 Chronicles 6:32-33). God wanted people in every country to know about Him.

But this temple disappointed God. Jesus stopped the market. He told the people that they must take their animals away. He would not let them continue their business.

Jesus did all these things in a very strong way. But nobody stopped Him. The important priests were afraid because the crowds wanted to listen to Jesus.

And Jesus taught the Bible to the crowds. He told them about Isaiah 56:7 and Jeremiah 7:11.

_these I will bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will rise to be accepted on my altar; for my house will be called a house of prayer for everyone.”_ Isaiah 56:7

_Has this house that is called by my name become a hideout for bandits in your eyes? Look, I’m watching,” declares the LORD_ (Jeremiah 7:11).

By his action, Jesus showed God’s judgment on those who had forgotten the real purpose of religious exercises and used them chiefly to make money. The people who exchanged the money helped the worshippers to be able to pay the temple tax. But they cheated them so much in the business just like those selling the animals for sacrifices. They increased their cost and if you don’t buy from them, your animal shall be rejected by the priests.

God was more pleased with Jesus’ action in healing the blind and the crippled than with all the religious activity of the Jews. Even the children saw the worth of Jesus’ action and shouted their praises accordingly. The temple authorities were angered at such behaviour by the children in the temple, but Jesus responded that the children clearly saw what the religious leaders could not, namely, that Jesus was the Messiah (Matt 21:14-16).

Peter was very surprised when he saw a fig tree earlier cursed by Jesus dried up. On the day before, the tree was leafy and healthy (Mark 11:12-14). But Jesus said that it would die. And when Peter recognized the tree, it was completely dead. Peter did not think that Jesus’ words would be so powerful.

Jesus’ words were powerful because Jesus had God’s authority to speak those words. And God is very powerful. Jesus told the disciples that they should always believe in God. Even a mountain must obey God’s words. If a person believes in God, God will do powerful things to help that person.

With faith, all our prayers shall be answered. But a person who prays must do two things:

(1) He/she must continue to believe in God. That person must not let other thoughts into his mind.

(2) He/she must forgive other people. Then God will forgive Him too.

🔷 God hates cheating our fellow human beings. He rather expects that we help each other to alleviate our plights

🔷 We must always communicate our problems to God through prayer, and trust that He shall answer them

🔷 Bearing grudges with others impedes our relationship with God and stops our prayers from being answered.

💥 Pray for faith in God
💥 Request for pardon for every for your unforgiveness

Our Christian life must be holistic, to show love to God and fellow human beings. We must cleanse our hearts of every hatred and corrupt practices and God shall answer our prayers and grant us the authority over every evil.

In series Bright Morning Reflections