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Every Sunday, across the world, Christians share an agreed three year cycle of Bible Readings in Sunday worship, this is called the Common Lectionary. We offer materials including prayers bible study and worship resources for each one of these Sunday's via our Lectionary Bible Notes Section.

Jesus cleanses the temple7 March Lent 3

The actions of Jesus in the story from John today are harsh and aggressive. Jesus goes to the temple and makes it plain that he is angry. When we remember just how important the temple was, we can understand that people would not be happy when he used language about raising it to the ground.

Why was Jesus so angry ?  Why was he so motivated that he made a whip and used it to drive people and their animals out of the temple? The event can only be understood against the background of the understanding Jesus had about who he was and what he was about to do. Jesus sees Judaism with its Passovers and sacrifices to be at an end. Even the temple itself was of no more value. Instead it was his death which would end all deaths, his body which would represent the visible representation of God being with his people. There would be no more need of the religious trappings, that was the old order and now a new order had come.

Make no mistake, Jesus did not have this zeal because he was on a mission to stop corruption, he has a much bigger target than that. Jesus is not involved in a clean up exercise, he wants nothing less than an end to the Jewish religion itself.

The gospel reading today challenges us to look afresh at our institutions and our personal lives. Perhaps we are being challenged to cleanse what is stale and corrupt? What abuses have crept into the way we govern our society, workplaces and lives? It is no good excusing ourselves simply because things have become accepted as the norm. We too must be prepared to challenge the status quo with the demands of the Kingdom. 

When Jesus attacked the abuses which had grown up in the Temple he was prepared to face unpopularity and the dangers of confronting the powerful. He was willing to be disliked and misunderstood, in order to bring about change. Are we as Christians prepared to be as courageous?

 

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Lectionary Material for every Sunday in Years A, B, C

 

Future Sundays with worship, prayer and teaching resources Sundays in the Lectionary

 

28 February

7 March

14 March

21 March

28 March

4 April

Lent 2

Purple

Lent 3

Purple

Lent 4

Purple

Lent 5

Purple

Palm Sunday

Red

Easter

Gold

 

the cross is the way

 

Each morning and each evening
let the peace of the Father, be ours.
Each day and each night
let the peace of the Son be ours.
Each dawn and each dusk
let the peace of the Spirit be ours.
Let the blessing of the three in one be ours;
both now and for ever. Amen.
Carmina Gadelica