Read John 2:13-22. TEXT: "Making a whip of cords, He drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and oxen ..." (John 2:15a).
If you picture Jesus as a meek, gentle man you might be surprised at what He does here in the temple. But you shouldn't be-the thicker the darkness, the brighter the Light must shine. Our Savior knows animals must be sold for sacrifice, and foreign currency needs to be exchanged for temple currency. But His problem is where this is all taking place.
This trading is being done in the Court of the Gentiles, i.e. in the back of the church. The Jewish worshipers aren't bothered, they can move up front closer to the temple. But what infuriates Jesus is the way the Gentile believers are being forced to worship and pray in all this noise and commotion.
When Jesus shouts "Take these things away; do not make My Father's house a house of trade," the Jewish authorities are filled with a dark rage of their own. The darkness tries to overcome the Light as they demand Jesus perform a miracle proving His authority to cleanse the temple.
Jesus will provide that sign in His coming death and resurrection. On the cross His enemies will destroy His body-the true temple and dwelling place of God. But on the third day Jesus will raise it to life again.
Today the darkness still challenges Jesus. When we gather at the Lord's house to worship, pray and receive Christ's gifts in Word and Sacrament, the darkness fills our minds with all sorts of trade and business concerns, as well as other worries, fears and distractions. But the light shines in the darkness and draws our thoughts back to our Savior.
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