Luke 19:45-46 When Jesus entered the temple courts, he began to drive out those who were selling. “It is written,” he said to them, “‘My house will be a house of prayer’; but you have made it ‘a den of robbers.’”
Jesus went into the temple and was very angry at what He found there. What made Jesus so angry? Why did He call it a den of robbers?
Entering the Temple, Jesus saw the money changers, along with merchants who were selling animals for sacrifice at a higher price for those who had no choice because they needed the animals for sacrifice. The merchants made profit from the religious obligations and the high priest had a share in the profit. The place had become so noisy that it was impossible for someone to pray.
It is possible that we miss out the spiritual significance of what we do by being distracted with other things. The church is supposed to be a house of prayer but for us, has it become a place just to socialize, make friends and get business contacts?
The cleansing of the temple was the only time when we read that Jesus was angry. And He was never angry with insults and injury against himself, but He was angry when God was violated. This is what we call righteous anger, being angry at sin. Today, do we become angry at sin and speak out or do we become so indifferent to sin as it has become a way of life e.g. homosexuality, immoral content in movies, magazines, etc.?
Luke 21: 1-4 As Jesus looked up, he saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. “Truly I tell you,” he said, “this poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.”
Why did the gift of the poor widow impress Jesus?
The poor widow not just gave but gave sacrificially. It is not how much we give but how much we have left after we give that is important.
Besides giving away our money sacrificially, do we give to God sacrificially in other areas? For example, do we give our time sacrificially? Does God get our best time or do we leave time to God only when we are totally exhausted doing other things?
Luke 20:9-16 He went on to tell the people this parable: “A man planted a vineyard, rented it to some farmers and went away for a long time. At harvest time he sent a servant to the tenants so they would give him some of the fruit of the vineyard. But the tenants beat him and sent him away empty-handed. He sent another servant, but that one also they beat and treated shamefully and sent away empty-handed. He sent still a third, and they wounded him and threw him out. “Then the owner of the vineyard said, ‘What shall I do? I will send my son, whom I love; perhaps they will respect him.’ “But when the tenants saw him, they talked the matter over. ‘This is the heir,’ they said. ‘Let’s kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’ So they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. “What then will the owner of the vineyard do to them? He will come and kill those tenants and give the vineyard to others.”
Jesus told them the parable of the tenants to explain that after God sent many prophets to the people, He sent His only Son and still the people rejected him. What are some of the reasons the Jews and Pharisees rejected Jesus?
The Jews were anxiously for Jerusalem’s deliverance from their Roman oppressors.
Luke 2:25, 36-38 Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him… There was also a prophet, Anna, the daughter of Penuel, of the tribe of Asher…she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.
They were mistakenly waiting for a political hero, not a spiritual one. At one point they even tried to make him king. But when he refused, they rejected him.
John 6:15 Jesus, knowing that they intended to come and make him king by force, withdrew again to a mountain by himself.
What are some reasons that people today reject Jesus as their Savior? Is there anything that is causing you to reject Jesus as your God and Savior?
Today, people still reject Jesus because of their preconceived ideas.
- If Jesus is God, he would not lived such a humble life on earth
- If Jesus is God, he would not subject himself to the limitations of a human being and come down to earth as a man
- If Jesus is God, he would not have allowed his enemies to harm him as he would be able to protect himself
Luke 22:7 Then came the day of Unleavened Bread on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed.
The Jews celebrated the festival of the unleavened bread and the sacrifice of the Passover lamb.
The Festival of Unleavened Bread is celebrated to commemorate God delivering the Israelites from slavery in Egypt.
Exodus 12:17 “Celebrate the Festival of Unleavened Bread, because it was on this very day that I brought your divisions out of Egypt. Celebrate this day as a lasting ordinance for the generations to come.
The Passover lamb is sacrificed during this festival to commemorate the last sign that God showed in Egypt before Pharoah was willing to let the Israelites go.
Exodus 11:1, 4-5 Now the Lord had said to Moses, “I will bring one more plague on Pharaoh and on Egypt. After that, he will let you go from here, and when he does, he will drive you out completely. So Moses said, “This is what the Lord says: ‘About midnight I will go throughout Egypt. Every firstborn son in Egypt will die, from the firstborn son of Pharaoh, who sits on the throne, to the firstborn son of the female slave, who is at her hand mill, and all the firstborn of the cattle as well.
Exodus 12:3, 5-7, 12-13 Tell the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month each man is to take a lamb for his family, one for each household. The animals you choose must be year-old males without defect…all the members of the community of Israel must slaughter them at twilight. Then they are to take some of the blood and put it on the sides and tops of the doorframes of the houses where they eat the lambs. “On that same night I will pass through Egypt and strike down every firstborn of both people and animals, and I will bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt. I am the Lord. The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are, and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt.
Why do you think God did not kill the firstborn in the Jewish homes when He saw the blood of the lamb on the door post?
The unblemished lamb symbolizes Jesus, who will come later to die for mankind. God will not punish us if we rely on the blood of Jesus to save us from condemnation.
John 1:29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!
Luke 22:14-20 When the hour came, Jesus and his apostles reclined at the table… And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.
Why is it necessary for Jesus to suffer before we can receive forgiveness of sins? Why can’t God just overlook our sins?
The Bible teaches that we have all sinned.
Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…
Sin carries the penalty of death.
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Because God is a merciful God, He sent His Son to die for us to pay the penalty of our sins. God, being the righteous Judge of the world, cannot overlook sin.
There was a story about a young woman who was caught for speeding. She was brought to court where the judge pronounced a fine of $100. After that, the judge did a surprising thing. He got down from his chair and walked down to pay the fine. You see, the judge was the girl’s father. But being a judge, he must be just and pronounce the sentence. But because he loves his daughter, he is willing to pay the penalty himself.
The possibility of God’s forgiving a sinner without any punishment involved is contrary to our innate feeling of justice. If a human judge were to do so, we would think that he is a corrupt judge and not a righteous one. Therefore, there is only one solution left for a merciful and just God. Being a just God, He has to satisfy the penalty of sin. Being a merciful God, He is not willing that any would perish and instead sent His Son to suffer on our behalf.
Luke 22:39-43 Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him. On reaching the place, he said to them, “Pray that you will not fall into temptation.” He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him.
Was Jesus reluctant to go the cross? Why did he ask God the Father to take away the cup of suffering?
Jesus was not unwilling to go to the cross. Jesus was fully man and fully God and it was human to dread the suffering. However, he asked God to carry out His will and he surrendered to God’s will.
When we are about to face severe hardship, we can learn from Jesus’ example to spend time in prayer. What happened with Jesus prayed?
God sent an angel to strengthen Jesus.