Bible scholars have tried to make a reconstruction of the last week of Jesus which is now what we call the Holy Week. The event that happened after the Triumphal Entry of Jesus into Jerusalem was the cleansing of the Temple. This event is recorded in the four Gospels. So, it means that we need to pay extra attention to the lessons that we can learn from this event.
What lessons can we draw from the cleansing of the Temple by Jesus Christ?
First, Jesus will always challenge a status quo that is not according to God’s will.
The people in Israel during that time probably thought that the practice of selling the sacrifices at outrageous prices was acceptable. The religious authorities stamped their approval of this business, and everyone accepted it as it was. But for Jesus, what is wrong is wrong. It cannot be right no matter how many religious authorities say so.
Jesus reminded them what the Prophet Isaiah wrote in Isaiah 56:7 that the Temple should be a house of prayer. Jesus also reminded them that this happened in their past also. In Jeremiah 7:11, God spoke through the Prophet that the people were making the Temple a den of robbers. So what Jesus said in Mark 11:17 came from two prophets in the Old Testament. The people did not learn their lesson and they have to be rebuked to serve as a reminder.
Thus, as Christians, we have to follow the footsteps of Jesus and challenge the situations in our churches that are not according to God’s will.
Second, Jesus did not let the death threats deter Him in doing God’s will.
Mark 11:18 states, “The chief priests and the teachers of the law heard this and began looking for a way to kill him, for they feared him, because the whole crowd was amazed at his teaching.” One could just imagine how the religious ministers made a plot to kill Jesus. We probably think that as ministers of God, they should have been planning of joining Jesus or accepting the corrections that He made. But no! They were making a plan to kill Jesus. And of course, they eventually succeeded in that plan.
How about us? Are we planning to kill Jesus in our lives? Or are we planning on accepting the rebuke of Jesus as He cleanse our lives?
As Christians, we must not be hindered by any barrier in proclaiming the Gospel no matter what the cost.
May God bless us all!
Rev. Francis Neil G. Jalando-on
Director, Office of Communications
Central Philippine University