Questions Jesus Asked #75

Mark 11:15-17 – On reaching Jerusalem, Jesus entered the temple area and began driving out those who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves, 16 and would not allow anyone to carry merchandise through the temple courts. 17 And as he taught them, he said, “Is it not written:” ‘My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations’? But you have made it ‘a den of robbers.'” NIV

This incident of Jesus cleansing the Temple after the Triumphal Entry is also recorded in Matthew 21; but in Matthew’s Gospel Jesus states that “it is written.” In Mark’s Gospel it is asked as a rhetorical question “Is it not written,” with a quotation from Isaiah 56:7 where Yahweh is speaking that “my house will be called a house of prayer for all nations?”

We are dealing here with the primary purpose of the Temple.  It was a place to approach God to be able to express needs and hear from Him. The Temple sacrificial system was designed that through the substitutionary sacrifice of an unblemished animal atone for the sins of the worshiper and allow him/her to approach Yahweh in a forgiven state. After offering sacrifice, the worshiper could then approach closer to the Holy of Holies which represented the Presence of Yahweh. Continue reading