Pastor Herman Kneller Editorials
GOD'S SECRETS REVEALED
Jesus for All People
The Jews of Jesus' time thought they had a monopoly on God's blessings because they were God's chosen people (who came from faithful, old Abraham). Jesus was always trying by word and example to teach the people, especially His disciples, the real character of Himself and God, His father.
One day Jesus and His disciples left the land of Judea and were going into Tyree and Zidon. There, a woman met them and begged Jesus to heal her daughter who was grievously vexed of the devil. Unlike His actions previously, Jesus paid no attention to her. The disciples thought this was okay for she was not a Jew but a Gentile. As she was pressing Him, Jesus turned and said, “It is not right to give the children's food to dogs.” (the Jews were the “children” and she, as the Jews called the Gentiles, was the “dog”) The woman asked, “Don't the dogs have a right to the crumbs that fall from the children's table?” Jesus replied, “Great is your faith, your desire is granted.” and her daughter was well.
Jesus was trying to tell his disciples and others that no matter what we might think of people, God loves all. No matter of status or nationality, all are equally God's children.
Some time later, Jesus was riding into the city on a donkey. Crowds were with Him singing “Hosanna” to the Son of David. People were laying palm branches on His trail and having a joyful time but when Jesus came to the city near the temple there was great commotion. It was near Passover time and many Jews from Judea and countries around were coming to the Passover. It was a time when they remembered their deliverance from Egyptian bondage, when they passed from slavery to freedom. God had instructed them to bring an offering, a lamb, young goat or for more influential people, a young bull and for poor people a pair of doves. To bring these offerings a long distance was not easy so there were places where they could be bought and this was what was going on in and around the temple. Also an offering of money was expected for the temple. It had to be paid in what had been set up as a temple coin. All money had to be changed into it and this created a lot of unpleasant disputes. The whole scene would resemble the stock market and a cattle auction.
Jesus took in the scene, then went up onto the temple steps and, in a loud voice, said, “...My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations. But you have made it a den of thieves.” (Mark 11:17) As the traders, buyers, money changers, priests, Pharisees, temple police and Roman soldiers heard this they left everything and ran out. As they had looked at Jesus they saw not the humble teacher and healer of Nazareth but an angry God. (A favourite Bible writer says that divinity flashed through humanity and they saw a much displeased God.) All they thought of was to put as much distance between Him and them for they knew what they were doing was not right and they were afraid.
Jesus went and upset the money changer's tables. There was money, doves, goats and lambs everywhere. God's purpose for the temple was a place where His presence was. A place where people could come with their offerings, confess their sins and find forgiveness and peace. At the second coming of Jesus, when He appears in the clouds, those who have not kept His commandments but lived for self, they will see a displeased God. “[They will hide in caves of the mountains and say to the mountains and rocks to cover them and hide them] from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?” (Revelation 6:15,16,17)
Those who have lived by God's word and done what was right will see a loving savior and thank Him for coming to save them.
Next week: Hate and Greed