International Subject: Jesus Cleanses the Temple
U.H.S.C. Subject: Father Hurley Cleanses the Mind
Lesson Text: Isaiah 56: 6, 7; Jeremiah 7:9-11; Mark 11:15-19
6. Also the sons of the stranger, that join themselves to the Lord, to serve him, and to love the name of the Lord, to be his servants, every one that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and taketh hold of my covenant;
7. Even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar; for mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people.
9. Will ye steal, murder, and commit adultery, and swear falsely, and burn incense unto Baal, and walk after other gods whom ye know not;
10. And come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, We are delivered to do all these abominations?
11. Is this house, which is called by my name, become a den of robbers in your eyes? Behold, even I have seen it, saith the Lord.
15. And they come to Jerusalem: and Jesus went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves;
16. And would not suffer that any man should carry any vessel through the temple.
17. And he taught, saying unto them, Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer? but ye have made it a den of thieves.
18. And the scribes and chief priests heard it, and sought how they might destroy him: for they feared him, because all the people was astonished at his doctrine.
19. And when even was come, he went out of the city.
I. Worldwide Focus (Isaiah 56:6, 7)
II. Corrupt Den (Jeremiah 7:9-11)
III. Cleansed Temple (Mark 11:15-19)
Time: AD 32
General Theme: “And he [Jesus] said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.” — Luke 24:4
The focus of the March, April, and May 2014 lessons are on how Jesus’ fulfilled various Old Testament prophecies. Jeremiah’s prophetic ministry began 55 years after Isaiah’s ministry ended. But despite being from different eras, they were both focused on convincing the Israelites to change their ways. In Isaiah (56:6) “the sons of the stranger” are the Gentiles or non-Jews who will one day be accepted into the household of God. Both Isaiah and Jeremiah warned Israel to not allow their worship to change into a meaningless system.
When Jesus arrived at the temple, he knew they were not heeding Isaiah and Jeremiah’s warnings. The temple had become all about money. The moneychangers were selling the doves people needed to present to the priests for the cleansing rituals. Jesus was not angry about this per say. Jesus was angry because the priesthood had become nothing more than a money game. The people of God were just going through the motions of worship but were not being changed.
Church has to be more than going through the order of service. You’re not doing God a favor by going to church. The church is a spiritual hospital where we go for healing and renewal. Church is the place where we should receive biblical and spiritual training. If all you do at church is have a good time and raise an offering, you have not fulfilled God’s word.