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JESUS CLEANSING THE TEMPLE
III. QUAR., LESSON X., SEPT. 2, JOHN 2:13-25
Golden Text—”Make not my Father’s house a house of merchandise.”—John 2:16
The several accounts of this action of our Lord by the other evangelists place the occurrence
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unmistakably near the close of his ministry, while John here mentions it in connection with events at the beginning of his public work. It would appear, however, that the one event was referred to by them all, the last verse of John’s account, like the others, showing the hostile attitude of numerous opponents who sought his life, which disposition did not make its appearance in the very beginning of his ministry.
This authoritative action of Jesus had a peculiar fitness as a type near the close of his ministry. It immediately followed his triumphant entry into Jerusalem in fulfilment of the prophecy—”Behold thy king cometh unto thee, etc.” (Zech. 9:9); and this course in the temple was an assumption of authority consequent upon this rightful claim to be the king of Israel—a claim, however, which was rejected by the Jews. “He
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came unto his own [people], and his own received him not.” (John 1:11.) Then, seeing they put away the favor of God from them and proved themselves unworthy of it, he turned to the Gentiles to take out of them a people for his name, which selection has required the eighteen centuries of the Gospel age; and that fleshly house of Israel and this spiritual house, the Gospel Church, stand related to each other as type and antitype; both as to circumstances and time. As an event shortly preceding his crucifixion, this cleansing of the temple finds its antitype in a similar work here, beginning at the corresponding date—1878 (See M. DAWN, VOL. II., page 239); viz., the casting out (from the spiritual temple—his body, the consecrated Church) of such as are unworthy to be of that body, while the worthy ones, the pure in heart, are being correspondingly blessed.
The scourge of small cords was a fit emblem of the harmonious doctrines of Christ, which are accomplishing the cleansing work here.
When asked for a sign of the authority by which he did these things, Jesus pointed forward to his future power—after his death and resurrection. (Verses 18-21.) He had no authority to begin the actual work then; that which he did being only typical, and for our profiting, not theirs.
VERSES 23-25 (Diaglott). Though the people at this time seemed greatly impressed by his miracles, and, shouting Hosanna! before him, seemed ready to accept him as the Messiah and to proclaim him king at once (See also Matt. 21:9-11), Jesus did not trust them; for he knew the fickleness of their hearts, and having the gift also of discerning of spirits, he needed not that any man should testify of them, for he knew what was in them.—Luke 20:41-47.
The Golden Text—”Make not my Father’s house a house of merchandise”—should have the most careful consideration of all those who profess to be of his consecrated house,—the true temple. In this time of cleansing, sifting and purifying of the temple of God, none will be permitted to remain in it whose purpose is in any way to make merchandise of God’s holy things.
— August 15, 1894 —