Wednesday, March 28, 2012

A Den Of Robbers


Matthew 21:12-17

The Jews had become so corrupted in their religion that the temple precincts were more like a market-place than a place of worship.

The priests sanctioned those animals or doves that they deemed acceptable for sacrifice.

A Jew could bring his own sacrifice, but this was not practical for those pilgrims who had traveled hundreds of miles.

Those who had permission to sell sacrificial animals were obliged to pay a generous commission to the temple authorities.

Animals and birds were sold at about 80 times more than their true value.

Male Jews were obliged to pay a half-shekel temple tax (Matthew 17:24-27; Exodus 30:13).

And it had to be paid with Jewish coins.

Roman coins were inscribed with the head of the Roman emperor whom the Romans worshiped as a god. Theses coins were strictly forbidden in the temple building.

The money-changers charged exorbitant exchange rates.

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Religion was used as a means of fraud!

The precincts of the temple which had been consecrated for the worship of God had become little more than market place.

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The Lord Jesus drove out all the traders and overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold doves.

He quoted the prophets Isaiah and Jeremiah saying, “It is written, ‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’ but you are making it ‘a den of robbers.’ (Matthew 21:13; Isaiah 56:7; Jeremiah 7:11).

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The blind and lame came to the Lord Jesus, and He healed them.

The children, taking up the words they had heard from the multitude, cried out in the temple, “Hosanna to the Son of David! (Matthew 21: 9, 14-15).

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The chief priests were very angry.

They rejected the holy Son of God.

They were more at home in their ‘den of robbers.’

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We long for revival.

But when the Holy Spirit comes in power, shallow religion is exposed and cleared out and it is painful.

Let us be sure that our Christianity is living and real.

Let us make the house of God into a house of prayer, and not into a den of robbers!

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