Then Jesus entered the Temple area and began to drive out the merchants. And he said to them, “God says in the Scriptures: My house shall be a house of prayer: but you have turned it into a den of robbers.”
Jesus was teaching every day in the Temple. The chief priests and teachers of the Law wanted to kill him and the elders of the Jews as well, but they were unable to do anything, for all the people were listening to him and hanging on his words.
Long ago, Jeremiah had similar expressions against the profanation of the temple by the sins of Israel. Like the bandits who, after their evil deeds, look for a cave as refuge and shelter, Israelites come to the temple looking for security against enemies, but they offend God in their deeds. God is telling to the prophet: ‘For your part, do not intercede for this people, nor offer a plea or petition because I will not listen when they cry to me in the time of their distress. What is my beloved doing in my House? She is plotting evil deeds. Will your vows and the meat of your victims cleanse you from your wickedness and allow you to rejoice? The Lord had called you ‘Beautiful Green Olive Tree, fair and fruitful’…And the Lord, who planted you, has condemned you to shame. Indeed the nation of Israel and the nation of Jacob harmed themselves when they worshiped Baal and aroused my anger” (Jer 11:14-17).
Jesus acted in a similar way. The simple people were hanging on his words, but the elders wanted to kill him. In the end they would prevail.
Isn’t this a serious admonition for Christian times?
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