King's Business - 1913-07



out a great deal that we permit. The whole atmosphere of the Father’s House at Jerusalem was contaminated both morally and physically. This moved our Lord Jesus with indigna­ tion at the desecration of the house of which He could think in no other way than as “My Father’s house.” In the full and overwhelming conscious­ ness that He was the Son of God, He asserted His authority and manifested His indignation at these defilers of His Father’s house. As the Son of God and the Messiah, He had a per­ fect right to take the law into His own hands and to put a stop to the whole unholy traffic, and this He did. He made a scourge of cords. (Not of “small” cords as our •'Authorized Version reads. The word translated “small cords” here is the same word that is used of the ropes that held the boat in Acts 27:32: It is found in the New Testament only in these two passages.) According to Jewish tra­ dition the Messiah was to come with a scourge for the chastisement of evil doers. Raising this whip aloft in no­ ble and holy indignation, He “cast” these traffickers out of the temple. One commentator says, “The Greek word (translated “drove out”) does not mean by force but by authority.” But there is absolutely no warrant for this statement—it is the same word that is used for example in Acts 27:28 of the throwing of the wheat out of the ship into the sea. It is quite like­ ly that our Lord did not have to use the whip, for the majesty of His pres­ ence at this time so terrified these of­ fenders that they fled before Him, but the words used imply the forceful driving of them out, whether it was the force of His holy presence on fire with indignation for the outraged honor of God, or whether it was the force of the whip that He brandished in His hand. The Lord had sudden­ ly come to His temple and was puri­

fying it from the very presence of the seekers after personal gain into whose hands the worship of God’s house had fallen. The details recorded by John are full of suggestion and meaning. The traders and the sheep and the oxen were cast out; the changers’ moneys was “poured out” ; the tables used for their unholy traffic in the House of God were overthrown. Jesus Him­ self did it all, but He did not drive out the doves or overturn their cages. With a heart full of pity even for the doves which were there for the use of the poor who could not afford oxen or sheep (Lev. 5:7). He said to them that sold them, “Take these things hence,” thus allowing them to be gently carried out of the temple. In all these details we see the vivid recollection of the writer; every de­ tail has burned itself into the memory of John ; the account is evidently that of an eye witness, and the truth of the story is apparent in every detail that is told. It is a wonderful revelation of the holy and uncompromising sternness of our Lord upon the one hand, and of His wonderful tender­ ness upon the other. He appears as the only Son of God in every detail. By His indignantly pouring out the money that was being used to take advantage of the necessities of the common people, He showed His esti­ mate of silver and gold, especially the silver and gold that is tainted. In His overthrowing the tables He shows His authority mingled with His righteous indignation; in the way in which the traders fled before Him (cf. John 18:6) He gave a fore­ glimpse of the way in which sinners shall quail before Him in the coming Day of Judgment. Many professing Christians today are as guilty in com­ mercializing the worship of God as were these’Jewish rulers of old. We do well to take warning. At this first

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