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Storming the Castle

June 13, 2021 Speaker: Dr. Rick Gregory Series:

Topic: Luke Verse: Luke 19:45–19:48

Theme: Jesus is committed to seeing people genuinely worship God. 

I. The Purging of the Corruption – 19:45

A. The Priority of the Temple

  • Jesus majestically, yet sadly, enters Jerusalem and heads directly for the temple – cp. Mark 11:11.
  • The priority of heading to the Temple is determined by the Scriptures which state that doing so would be yet another indication of the authenticity of the Messiah – cp. Malachi 3:1-2. 
  • Then, on Tuesday morning, Jesus returns to Jerusalem and “Jesus entered the temple and began to drive out those who were selling …”
  • The Temple is the seat of the Nation of Israel – the heartbeat of Judaism, and the pride of the people.
  • “Jesus entered the Temple” in order to confront the perversions that were occurring in the name of the Lord God.

B. The Perversion of the Temple

  • Luke succinctly writes that He “… began to drive out those who were selling.”
  • Instead of attacking the Roman oppressors as the people had hoped and expected, Jesus attacks the heart of the Jewish religious system – the sacrificial system.
  • Jesus is declaring His concern for the way that men had abandoned the worship of God and had become consumed with injustice, inequity, crime and other social evils – all of which are caused by the abandonment of God.
  • The “Courtyard of the Gentiles” had been overtaken and “converted” into a marketplace where great treachery was occurring.
  1. Extortion was occurring, as pilgrims were required to bring a sacrifice – but inspectors would bar sacrificial animals and require that new “Temple approved” animals be purchased at up to 10 times the normal price.
  2. In addition, you were not permitted to use your own money to make the purchase – only the Tyrian shekel was accepted, and money changers stood to charge a 25% fee.
  3. Finally, there were those who had decided to make this place of worship for the Gentiles a thoroughfare – a short-cut from the easternmost gate to the southern portion of Zion.

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  • The supernatural power of the Son of Man is evidenced here as Jesus begins to denounce these “businesses” as desecrating the holiness of the Temple of the Lord – even as He displayed at the very beginning of His public ministry – cp. John 2:13-17.
  • What was happening in the Temple Courtyards was demonstrative of the corruption that angered the Lord against the legalistic and self-righteous.

Application:

  1. Where true worship of God occurs, corruption is driven out – what needs to be cleansed from your heart to enable you to worship freely? 
  2. Consider how God despises pretense in worship – how can this drive greater sincerity by you when you worship?

II. The Proclamation of Conclusions – 19:46-47a

A. The Condemnation of the Profane – v. 46

  • Jesus declares: “It is written, ‘and My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you are making it a robber’s den.”
  • In this statement, Jesus combines a couple of Old Testament passages – both of which severely indicts the spiritual leadership of Israel that had turned the Temple into a bazaar
  1. First, is from Isaiah 56:7b – where Matthew uses the LXX version and emphasizes that “the temple was intended to be a place where God met with His people, a sanctuary for quiet, spiritual devotion, meditation, and fellowship, in connection with sacrifice.”
  2. Second, is from Jeremiah 7:2-11 – where the Jews asserted that their oppression of “aliens” and their generally evil ways were all acquitted through their claim that they had the Temple to protect them – but the lack of repentance will bring judgment.
  • God’s intention was that the Temple be a place where people could come (including Gentiles) for the purpose of seeking the grace, mercy, and compassion of God and offer to Him worship.
  • Yet like a place where thieves go to hide, the Temple had become a place where the corruption of the people was being cloaked by their participation in the ruse of religion.

B. The Climax of the Preaching – v. 47a

  • As soon as Jesus had disrupted the machinery of the chicanery of Caiaphas and Annas – the “Godfathers” of the Temple business, He began to teach – “And He was teaching daily in the temple …”
  • Luke provides a major section of His Gospel on the things taught by Christ between when He cleansed the Temple and when He was arrested –
  1. The hostility that the religious leadership had for Him through the Parable of the Vine-growers – Luke 20:9-18
  2. The clear distinction that must be drawn between the holy and the profane – rendering to Caesar what is Caesars and to God what is God’s – Luke 20:19-26.
  3. The truth of the resurrection – setting the Sadducees straight in their asserted conundrum – Luke 20:27-40.
  4. The Superiority of the Savior over King David – Luke 20:41-44.
  5. The condemnation of hypocrisy – Luke 20:45-47.
  6. The spiritual abuses by legalism that takes the livelihood of a widow – Luke 21:1-4.
  7. The certain judgment of God resulting in the destruction of the Temple – Luke 21:5-9.
  8. The detail of the events in the Time of Jacob’s Trouble or in the 70th Week of Daniel – Luke 21:10-24.
  9. The detail regarding the Return of Christ and establishment of the Kingdom – Luke 21:25-38.
  • He was speaking of the Gospel, the need for repentance, the futility of religion and legalism and the coming judgment upon Israel followed by a glorious restoration in the Millennial Kingdom.

Application:

  1. Is there anything that you are attempting to hide as you come to worship?
  2. What are some things that knowing Christ has caused you to deal with?

III. The Prejudice against Christ – 19:47b-48

A. The Objections by the Pretenders – v. 47b

  • Luke comments that despite the truth of God being declared faithfully by the Messiah, “the chief priests and the scribes and the leading men among the people were trying to destroy Him …”
  • Matthew states that these men had become indignant – as the children continued the praises from the previous day Matthew 21:15.
  • The greater the glory presented by the miracles and messages by Christ, the greater the hostility and animosity the legalistic spiritual leadership became.
  • They were truly blinded to the glory of God in the face of Christ Jesus.

B. The Obstacle to their Plot – v. 48

  • Nevertheless, the people were mesmerized by Jesus miracles and messages – “… for all the people were hanging on to every word He said.”
  • They were so enthralled by Jesus messages that the enemies of Christ wouldn’t dare lift a hand up against Him – “… and they could not find anything that they might do” to Him. 
  • Matthew continues by telling us that Jesus left and returned to Bethany yet again on Tuesday night – cp. Matthew 21:17.

Application:

  1. Do you ever get angry when confronted with the truth of God’s Word? How should you handle it? 
  2. What are some factors that can increase your attention span when it comes to God’s Word? 

So What?

Our worship matters to God.

When we approach God it must be out of a heart that is sincere and devoted to His glory.

Participating in worship as a way to mask corruption and carnality raises the indignation of God’s wrath.

You must not see God as intruding in your life as He instructs you how you are to live before Him.

The reality of what God has planned for both the righteous and unrighteous must clarify our priorities for us.

 

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