“God intends for the whole world to be able to praise him. He intends for Zion to set an example of faithfulness for the rest of the world. Zion cannot do this when evil persons corrupt others.”[i]
Bleating sheep and bellowing salesmen swarmed the temple. But really? God’s house was empty.
In the temple he found those who were selling oxen and sheep and pigeons, and the money-changes sitting there (Jn. 2:14).
Jesus longed for a house full of true worshipers.
“…These I will bring to my holy mountain, and will make them joyful in my house of prayer… for my house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples.” The LORD God, who gathers the outcasts of Israel, declares, “I will gather yet others to him besides those already gathered” (Is. 56:7-8).
“This place of worship should have prefigured the hope of God’s restored creation—” writes Pastor Jonathan Parnell, “a day when ‘all the nations shall flow to it, and many people shall come, and say: ‘Come, let us go to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob’ (Is. 2:2-3).”[ii]
God intends for the whole world to praise him, but in the temple, Jesus saw mud being thrown at that vision. So zeal for God’s house consumed him. Passion for God’s children—all of God’s children—moved him.
“Take these things away,” Jesus said. “Do not make my Father’s house a house of trade” (Jn. 2:16).
Jesus gets angry when God’s people don’t glorify him. His rage purges what’s fake and false so true worshipers can gather in spirit and truth (Jn. 4:23).
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[i] ESV Student Study Bible. (2011: Crossway. Wheaton, IL), p. 743.
[ii] Parnell, Jonathan. (2015, March 30). Jesus turns the tables. Retrieved from https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/jesus-turns-the-tables