Matthew 21: 12-14 Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. “It is written,” he said to them, “‘My house will be called a house of prayer, but you are making it ‘a den of robbers. The blind and the lame came to him at the temple, and he healed them.
It had everything in the Temple: currency shacks and cattle shacks with exorbitant prices. I imagine that the priests and levites looked inert, that chaotic situation. Or did they also profit from that trade?
The Temple’s mission was to be a house of prayer. The vision given to King David was to build a place where all peoples would congregate to worship the Lord. However, the goal was lost because of the remoteness of the people of Israel. In a similar way today, the church can lose sight. The leadership must be careful to keep the flame burning. People need to feel a spiritual climate of power in their congregation. Temple is not just a place of fellowship and service. But it must be a place of worship.
In Exodus 30: 11-16, God established Moses to cover half a shekel of each son of Israel in the annual census, for the purpose of personal atonement and maintenance of the Tabernacle. The shekel, or shekel, was a measure of weight whose name came to serve the currency of the Jews, as it is today. No matter the social status of the Israelite: each paid half a shekel, in a demonstration that all the children of God were equally important to Him and were equally responsible in His obedience.
The half shekel served not only for the construction of the Tabernacle and its maintenance, but also for the same purpose for the Temple of Solomon and his successor. The book of 2 Chronicles 24: 4-16 shows one of the revivals of the tribute for the restoration that gave rise to the Second Temple rebuilt by Zerubbabel (Zechariah 4:9, Haggai 1:14). Probably continued with the construction of Herod’s Temple with strong Hellenistic influence.
In excavations conducted by the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) and the University of Haifa, an old silver coin was found in a drainage canal in the City of David. After research, archaeologists found that that coin model was customarily used to pay the half-shekel rate at the time of the Second Temple. The money used was coined in the city-port of Tire, with great occurrence in Jerusalem. The 13-gram coin had on one side the effigy of Melcarte, the pagan god of the kingdom of Tire (equivalent to the Canaanite Baal) and on the other the figure of an eagle perched on the bow of a ship.
The activities of the different ministries of the church should be coordinated by leadership. Many times the time that a given ministry takes in the public worship can denounce an imbalance. In addition, a prioritization of the warnings, activities, and meetings that should be in the focus of the church: worship and salvation is needed.
This event was probably part of Jesus’ last week. I imagine that He looked at the Temple, built by Herod, and walked towards it. He acted as someone who avoided doing this until the right time came. The people who had received him in Jerusalem as a king, realized His purpose was not to expel the Romans. The purpose of that new prophet was to demolish legalisms.
The Temple was the pride of every Jew perhaps Talmud highlighted the 5 omissions of the Second Temple: Ark of the Covenant, Sacred Fire, Shekinah (Glory of God), Holy Spirit and Urim / Thummim.
When asked about his opinion of the Temple, he prophesied that the temple would be destroyed. Mark 13: 1 says, “And when he was come out of the temple, one of his disciples said unto him, Master, what stones, and what a building!” And he added that in three days he would rebuild it. He prophesied of his death and resurrection. It reminded me of what He said to the Samaritan woman: The hour has come that neither in this mountain nor in the other will you necessarily need to go to worship God. He chose us to be the temple!
After the Diaspora and the destruction of the Temple by the Romans by General Titus, the Jews found religious instruction and cultural preservation through the Synagogues. The wise Maimonides, in the twelfth century, recognized that “… sacrificial worship was a temporary necessity.” Oskar Skarsaune, in the book Temple Shadow, pointed out that “… people came to believe that specific prayers replaced the sacrifices of the Temple.”