Eaten Up

church-steepleJesus Christ cleansed the temple in Jerusalem twice; both times were during the celebration of Passover.

These two events bracketed His three year public ministry.  Thousands of Jews made the pilgrimage at this time, many traveling long distances.  The temple priests, animal merchants [selling animals used in sacrifices], and money changers were working in tandem as they exploited the very people they should have been serving. 

In both instances, Jesus patiently made a whip of cords, probably crafted from animal tethers that had been discarded.  He then began to overturn tables and chased the profiteers from the area.  As He did, He was heard quoting from Isaiah and Jeremiah, “My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations, but you have made it a marketplace, a den of thieves!”  This was a partial fulfillment of the prophet Malachi, “Suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to His temple, the messenger of the covenant…but who can endure the day of His coming?!”  As His disciples were taking in all of this, they remembered something from the Psalms, “Zeal for Your house has consumed me (eaten me up).”

 The ramifications of these events have obvious and staggering contemporary implications.