Sunday, March 15, 2009

Sunday, March 15, 2009 – Lent 3 – Jesus cleanses the Temple – John 2:13-22

Jesus cleanses the temple of those who traded in it. Although this event happened at the end of Jesus’ ministry John chooses to mention it at the beginning of his gospel. The cleansing of the temple becomes the immediate cause of Jesus’ arrest. John sees this event related to the official’s demand for a sign authorizing Him to take such dramatic action. Jesus’ sign was the destruction of the temple and rebuilding it in three days – a forecast of His death and resurrection.

The authorities ask for a sign. “Who are you to say or do these things?” The temple with all of its activities, services, and programs is in charge of the priests who were authorized to take care of the temple. Who is this itinerant peasant-preacher to say what is right to do in the temple? This question is certainly in order.

The only sign Jesus will give them is the sign of the cross. He is the one whose temple will be destroyed and rebuilt on the third day. This proves who He is. He is the Messiah, the Lord’s chosen one. He has the right and authority to cleanse the temple.

O God, You see that of ourselves we have no strength. By Your mighty power defend us from all adversities that may happen to the body and from all evil thoughts that may assault and hurt the soul; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, One God, now and forever.

Schnorr von Carolsfeld, woodcuts © WELS Permission to use these copyrighted items is limited to personal and congregational use.

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