Jesus came to Jerusalem and found the temple in strange hands, and proceeded to 'cleanse' it. It had been given to Israel as a place where all nations should be able to come for forgiveness and blessing but was being used as a place for personal and perhaps national advantage.
What authority did Jesus have to do this? He explained, in a parable, that God's messengers, including himself as the Son, would all be rejected, but, that God would make what man rejects his Centrepiece. Jesus had come to his temple to cleanse it, but the real cleansing could only be with blood, and now, finally, with his own blood.
In our day, Jesus still comes to his temple, his church, as described in the letters in Revelation, to purify its worship. Jesus' warning is clear: as Centre-Stone for God's temple, those who try to worship without him as their Centre will find him a hard place to land on judgement day.
Grant Thorpe has been a pastor in several Baptist churches over a period of fourteen years. He has ministered to tertiary students as a staff worker with the Australian Fellowship of Evangelical Students for seven years and is currently a associate pastor at Coromandel East. He...