The temple simultaneously represents our own hearts, the church of Christ, and the whole earth. Jesus will cleanse and restore everything.
Scripture: Mark 11:1-33
- Jesus comes to Jerusalem where He ought to find the fruit of the kingdom, but it is barren; instead, it has become a hiding place for thieves.
- The self-righteousness of the religious leaders kept them from Jesus’ kingdom and the salvation.
- The triumphal entry of Christ fulfills all Old Testament prophecy; it also foreshadows the greater entry of Christ into His kingdom fullness at the end of history.
- The people were not sure of the identity of the One they praised (later they would call for Jesus’ death) but their response was fulfillment of prophecy (Zac. 9:9).
- Jesus exercised the right of eminent domain when the Lord who owns all things borrowed the donkey for His royal procession.
- As He comes in judgment He also comes in redemption, calling His people to service.
- The temple itself represents simultaneously our own hearts, the church of Christ, and the whole earth. Jesus will cleanse and restore everything.
- The true King was coming to manifest the true meaning of the temple in history.
- Solomon’s reign typified the Edenic peace of God’s enthronement; Solomon was a picture of the person of Jesus Christ (cf. 1 Ki. 10:1-13).
- The outer court of the temple that Jesus entered was a picture of Eden, symbolizing of God’s presence with the people.
- Solomon became a tyrant in his old age, burdening his subjects and multiplying pagan wives; Jesus by contrast was the true king of peace.
- The temple was central to God’s revelation of His kingdom purposes; but in Christ something greater than the temple is revealed (Matt 12:42).
- Jesus casts out demons by His word, because He is greater than Solomon.
- Jesus represents in Himself the full meaning of the temple. He is utterly unique as Creator, Redeemer, and King.
- The glory of Jesus is dazzling and His wisdom is so penetrating, but sinful man suppresses the wisdom and power of God in unrighteousness.
- Jesus had argued with the Rabbis at age 12; now He enters the temple and finds it wanting.
- Jesus’s cursing of the fig tree has a general application to us: in the church we can appear to be in full leaf with lots activity; but the actual fruit of the kingdom is missing.
- Jesus stands as our Redeemer who will soak up the wrath and curse of God against our fruitlessness.
- Jesus’ actions in the temple were seen as signaling the end of the temple system, which would be obsolete with His final sacrifice (Is. 56:3-8).
- The temple had become a den of thieves, a shelter from the justice and judgment of God. Today whole denominations are in open rebellion against God seeking refuge in their religious tradition.
- In the gospel the temple is redefined; God’s dwelling is within us (1 Cor. 3:16; Eph. 2:19-22; Rev 3:21). We are both individually and corporately the temple of God.
- Those who work to destroy God’s temple will themselves be destroyed.
- We cannot be hearers of the Word only; we must be doers also or we will be cut down and thrown into the fire (Jas. 1:22; Matt. 7:19).
- Jesus puts the religious leaders in a dilemma and they refuse to answer. Those who do not recognize the authority of God’s Word cannot expect His grace.
- In Christ all things will be reconciled to the Father and we are restored to our priesthood in obedient service to God.
- What is the relationship of Jesus to the temple? How do believers fill the role of the temple today?
- Are we shouting with the crowd for our salvation? Do we embrace the salvation victory of Jesus?
- Are you among those listening with joy, or are you questioning Jesus’ authority, suppressing the truth in unrighteousness?
- Is the fruit of the kingdom evident in our lives? Is there true repentance? Are we honouring God’s Word for all of our lives?