Thought for the Month (February 2016)

Are you a person that believes that Jesus turned the tables over once or twice?

Let's look at the events as if the Bible is correct and the event happened twice.

Jesus on both occasions cleansed the temple of the money-changers and sellers of merchandise because of His disgust at what they had made of His Father's house of prayer.

In John 2 verses 14 to 16, the first cleansing of the temple is described as having occurred just after Jesus'a first miracle, the turning of water into wine. It's this first occasion that Jesus made a whip of cords; there is no mention of the whip on the second occasion that is recorded in the other gospels.

Matthew, Mark and Luke do not record the first temple cleansing at all, but only the temple cleansing that occurred during Passion Week (the second time).

The words in John 2 verse 19 (first time) after the event the Jews asked Jesus immediately (John 2 verse 18) for a sign as His authority for turning over the tables and driving out the cattle. His words being "Destroy this Temple and in three days I will raise it up."

The Jews on the second occasion also asked "By what authority are you doing these things?" But the following day Jesus says in Matthew 21 verse 13 "It is written, my house shall be called the house of prayer, but you have made it a den of robbers". He also stayed at the temple. "The blind and lame came to him at the temple, and He healed them" (Matthew 21 verse 14).

If you feel that I have got it all wrong please let me know. But at this moment in time I'm a "think it happened twice" person.

Further reading Matthew 21 verses 12-27; Mark 11 verses 15-19; Luke 19 verses 45-46; and John 2 verses 14-22.

Eric Christian (Elder, Tunbridge Wells URC)

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Tunbridge Wells United Reformed Church