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Saturday, September 25, 2010

Mark 11:17-19 The Price of Reform

17 And as he taught them, he said, "Is it not written: 'My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations' ? But you have made it 'a den of robbers.' " 18 The chief priests and the teachers of the law heard this and began looking for a way to kill him, for they feared him, because the whole crowd was amazed at his teaching.  19 When evening came, Jesus and his disciples went out of the city.

(Cleansing the Temple, Bernardino Mei)

Thoughts: Jesus attack upon the temple and its practices got him in real trouble.  At his crucifixion Jesus also was derided for saying something against the Temple: (Mark 14:57) Jesus' main accusation was that he said that he would "destroy this man-made temple and in three days will build another not made by man."  In this passage (Mk. 11) the chief priests and teachers of the law sought to kill him because he tried to drive out the money changers. Jesus was not saying anything that was not true to reality, and was not trying to make up his own changes.  He was trying to change the temple by quoting scripture and trying to cleanse away the layers to get to the truth.  The church today needs to be reformed as well.  When the church refuses to listen to scripture, it is in danger of not only losing purpose and direction, but also losing its hope and faith.  The church is more than psychology, positive thinking, just entertainment, and being nice and looking nice on the outside. Any reforms will not be easy.  Most real reformers- Jesus, Savanarola, Wycliffe, Tyndale, Luther, Calvin, Wesley, Billy Graham paid high prices to change the church for the better.

Prayer: Reform your Church, O Lord, according to your Spirit and your Word.  Reform me that I would not be corrupted by pride and my own habits.

John Calvin abridged:  What is it that really bothered the scribes and Pharisees?  [Matthew records that Jesus healed in the Temple and that the children were shouting "Hosanna to the Son of David"- Mt. 21:14-16].  It was ungodly malice and outrageous contempt against God as seen by their being bothered by his miracles and the applause of the people.  They wanted to hold onto their power, which would be diminished by giving Jesus the title of King.

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