Luke – Doors Wide Open!
In a world where lying and spinning the situation to your advantage has become an art form, we wonder if anyone is capable of telling the truth. It is really scary when the liars are convinced of their own lies!
People were desperately seeking authenticity and truth in Jesus’ day. They saw Truth in Jesus for Jesus is Truth. Common people, both Jews and Gentiles, who encountered Truth, hung on every word Jesus said. They watched Him carefully and followed Him around the countryside to see if He really was who He said He was. Many were convinced He was not lying to them. He was The Word they were seeking.
Jesus, Son of God, comes to God’s house to correct the lies and cheating of the common people in the courtyard leading to the Temple. The behaviors of the sellers of sacrifices had degraded to cheating the people who were coming seek God which was the opposite of what the Temple was built to be…a house of prayer. The “price of admission” was big business to fill the pockets of the corrupt.
People today are also desperately seeking Truth. So many lies have been told in the media from products to politicians that people feel that can trust no one. It is easy to fall into this way of thinking, right?
But Truth DOES exist! Truth, the only Truth, the unchanging Truth, is the Person of Jesus Christ! John explains Truth’s beginnings to us in his introduction of who God is and his relationship with His Son, Jesus Christ;
“In the beginning the Word already existed.
The Word was with God,
and the Word was God.
2 He existed in the beginning with God.
3 God created everything through him,
and nothing was created except through him.
4 The Word gave life to everything that was created,
and his life brought light to everyone.
5 The light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness can never extinguish it.
(John 1:1-5, NLT)
So, now that we know who Truth is let us read Truth and pray for understanding.
Luke 19, New Living Translation
Jesus Clears the Temple
45 Then Jesus entered the Temple and began to drive out the people selling animals for sacrifices. 46 He said to them, “The Scriptures declare, ‘My Temple will be a house of prayer,’ but you have turned it into a den of thieves.”
47 After that, he taught daily in the Temple, but the leading priests, the teachers of religious law, and the other leaders of the people began planning how to kill him. 48 But they could think of nothing, because all the people hung on every word he said.
DID YOU KNOW…
PROFIT VERSUS TRUTH TELLING
The court of the Gentiles was the only place in the temple that was available to the Gentiles. There the Jews could witness to their “pagan” neighbors and tell them about the one true and living God. But instead of being devoted to evangelism, the area was used for a “religious marketplace” where Jews from other lands could exchange money and purchase approved sacrifices. The priests managed this business and made a good profit from it.
PREYING INSTEAD OF PRAYING!
Instead of praying for the people, the priests were preying on the people! The temple was not a “house of prayer” (Isa. 56:7); it was a “den of thieves” (Jer. 7:11). Campbell Morgan reminds us that a “den of thieves” is a place where thieves run to hide after they have committed their wicked deeds. The religious leaders were using the services of the holy temple to cover up their sins (see Isa. 1:1–20). But before we condemn them too harshly, have we ever gone to church and participated in religious worship just to give people the impression that we were godly?
TRUTH IS AND REMAINS IN CONTROL
Jesus remained in the temple and used it as a gathering place for those who needed help. He healed many who were sick and afflicted, and He taught the people the Word of God. The hypocritical religious leaders tried to destroy Him, but His hour had not yet come and they could not touch Him. In the days that followed, they argued with Him and tried to catch Him in His words (Luke 20), but they failed. When His hour came, He would surrender to them and they would crucify Him.
During His last week of ministry, He would courageously face His enemies and then bravely go to the cross to die for the sins of the world. My sins. Your sins. Three days later Truth defies death and rises again to life to give life to all who believe.
“For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.”
John 3:16, NLT
TRUTH WINS EVERY TIME!
Because of Jesus who is Truth, we finally have Someone we can fully trust with our very lives because He laid down His life for ours! Jesus cleared the Temple of all that offended God. Let Jesus clear out the lies, corruption, misbehavior, lack of trust, doubt from our hearts so we can become a “temple” of prayer that houses His Holy Spirit living in us. Jesus in us, WOW…that is the “secret” to knowing and living Truth!
“The secret is Christ in me, not me in a different set of circumstances.” — Elizabeth Elliot, Missionary
“And this is the secret: Christ lives in you. This gives you assurance of sharing his glory.” –Paul. Colossians 1:27
“Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God?”
1 Corinthians 6:19
Does Jesus/Truth live in you? Is it time for a cleansing?
Welcome Jesus to come into your being and ask Him to take up residence. Repent of the old life and ask Jesus to clean His temple–your heart, mind and soul. Ask Jesus to guide you to His Truth that never changes so you can think more and more like Jesus. He love us, forgives all our sins, cares for us and wants the best in us. And that is the Truth.
Dear Heavenly Father,
When all around us are lies, reveal Your Truth. When circumstances change in our lives that might cloud our thinking, let Truth rise to the top, easy to see. You do not hide Truth. Thank you. Help us to seek You (Truth) first. Help us to then help others find and follow you as Truth.
In Jesus Name, Amen