Jesus said the temple is a den of thieves

Charles Swindoll in his book on Grace puts it this way, “You want to mess up the minds of your children? Here’s guaranteed way to do it! Rear them in a legalistic environment of external religion, where performance is more important than reality. Fake your faith. Sneak … More

Hypocrisy

As Jesus and His disciples were leaving, Bethany for Jerusalem, the next morning, Jesus spotted a fig tree with leaves on it (vv. 12-13). He was hungry and because it had leaves it should have some fruit on it. (The fig tree usually has fruit when it displays its leaves). When He reached the tree He found nothing but leaves, so He pronounced judgment on it for professing what it did not have (v. 14). The teaching throughout the New Testament is that a person should be known by his fruits. (Matt. 7:16).

When they reached Jerusalem He went into the temple area and found them buying and selling (vv. 15-16). The Jew had to pay a temple tax of one Phoenician sheckle a year which was approximately two days’ wages for a working man. In order to get the proper coin, the people had to exchange their Greek and Roman money; it is claimed that the moneychangers collected about 15% for the exchange. Doves were an important part of the sacrificial system (Lev.12:8,15:14), but they had to be without blemish. They could be bought on the outside but the temple inspectors were sure to find something wrong with them. The ones approved by the inspectors and sold in the temple area often cost 20 times more. The poor people were being swindled by the temple leaders. Jesus said they had made it a den of thieves instead of a “house of prayer” (v.17). When the chief priests and the teachers heard what Jesus said they started looking for a way to kill Him (v. 18).

Application

If Jesus came to clean up my town where do I think He would start?

___City Hall
___Church
___My Room

Mark 11:12-18 (English Standard Version)

On the following day, when they came from Bethany, he was hungry. And seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to see if he could find anything on it. When he came to it, he found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. And he said to it, "May no one ever eat fruit from you again." And his disciples heard it. And they came to Jerusalem. And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold and those who bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. And he would not allow anyone to carry anything through the temple. And he was teaching them and saying to them, "Is it not written, 'My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations'? But you have made it a den of robbers." And the chief priests and the scribes heard it and were seeking a way to destroy him, for they feared him, because all the crowd was astonished at his teaching.

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