Thursday, November 26, 2009

Matthew 21: 12-13 – Money Changers In The Temple

Matthew 21: 12-13 – Money Changers In The Temple
And Jesus entered the temple of God and drove out all who sold and bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. He said to them, "It is written, `My house shall be called a house of prayer'; but you make it a den of robbers."

COMMENT -The Money Changers

The reason why they would have money changers in the Temple is because people would come in with Roman coins which had the image of Caesar – a pagan idolaters image on it.

You couldn’t have that coin in the Temple, so they would change it to a Tyrian coin from the City of Tyre which didn’t have pagan images.

So when you dedicate money or buy sacrificial animals you couldn’t use Roman coinage. You would have to use Tyrian coinage so the money changers were necessary.

Jesus goes over to the table and flips it over. Why does He do it?

Doesn’t it seem like Jesus is losing his temper?

Jesus was a prophet. He was more than a prophet. Prophets spoke a message but they also embodied that message in their life, in their action.

For example, Isaiah said “This city will be stripped of all its possessions” A message saying the city you will be despoiled and conquered. So God said speak that message but while you speak that message I want you to run around naked for three years. Hosea said to Israel you have become unfaithful, like a harlot. So God said you should marry a young girl and God selects for him a prostitute who will be unfaithful to him.

Jesus overturns the table to signify the Temple will soon be destroyed and that sacrifices are about to cease. This is the imagery that Jesus is evoking.

Source: The Gospel of Saint Matthew Bible Study
Dr Tim Gray - Professor of Scripture - St Augustine Institute

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