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Jesus Film Part 9
Jesus cleanses the temple
Jesus went into the temple and was very angry at what He found there. What made Jesus so angry? Why did He call it a den of robbers?
Luke 19:45-46 When Jesus entered the temple courts, he began to drive out those who were selling. “It is written,” he said to them, “‘My house will be a house of prayer’; but you have made it ‘a den of robbers.’”
Entering the Temple, Jesus saw the money changers, along with merchants who were selling animals for sacrifice at a higher price for those who had no choice because they needed the animals for sacrifice. The merchants made profit from the religious obligations and the high priest had a share in the profit. The place had become so noisy that it was impossible for someone to pray.
It is possible that we miss out the spiritual significance of what we do by being distracted with other things. The church is supposed to be a house of prayer but for us, has it become a place just to socialize, make friends and get business contacts?
What is our reaction towards sin today?
The cleansing of the temple was the only time when we read that Jesus was angry. And He was never angry with insults and injury against Himself but He was angry when God was violated. This is what we call righteous anger, being angry at sin. Today, do we become angry at sin and speak out or do we become so indifferent to sin as it has become a way of life e.g. homosexuality, immoral content in movies, magazines, etc.?
“All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.”
Why did the gift of the poor widow impress Jesus?
Luke 21: 1-4 As Jesus looked up, he saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. “Truly I tell you,” he said, “this poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.”
The poor widow not just gave, but gave sacrificially. It is not how much we give but how much we have left after we give that counts.
Besides giving away our money sacrificially, do we give to God sacrificially in other areas? For example, do we give our time sacrificially? Does God get our best time or do we leave time to God only when we are totally exhausted doing other things?
Parable of the tenants
Jesus told them the parable of the tenants to explain that after God sent many prophets to the people, He sent His only Son and still the people rejected Him. What are some of the reasons the Jews and Pharisees rejected Jesus and some of the reasons Muslims today reject Jesus as God?
Luke 20:9-19 He went on to tell the people this parable: “A man planted a vineyard, rented it to some farmers and went away for a long time. At harvest time he sent a servant to the tenants so they would give him some of the fruit of the vineyard. But the tenants beat him and sent him away empty-handed. He sent another servant, but that one also they beat and treated shamefully and sent away empty-handed. He sent still a third, and they wounded him and threw him out. “Then the owner of the vineyard said, ‘What shall I do? I will send my son, whom I love; perhaps they will respect him.’ “But when the tenants saw him, they talked the matter over. ‘This is the heir,’ they said. ‘Let’s kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’ So they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. “What then will the owner of the vineyard do to them? He will come and kill those tenants and give the vineyard to others.” When the people heard this, they said, “God forbid!” Jesus looked directly at them and asked, “Then what is the meaning of that which is written: “‘The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone’? Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces; anyone on whom it falls will be crushed.” The teachers of the law and the chief priests looked for a way to arrest him immediately, because they knew he had spoken this parable against them. But they were afraid of the people.
The Jews were mistakenly waiting for a political hero, not a spiritual one. At one point they even tried to make him king (John 6:15) and when he refused, they rejected him. The Jews were anxiously for Jerusalem’s deliverance from their Roman oppressors (Luke 2:25, 38).
Today, while Christians believe that Jesus is God, the Muslims have difficulties in coming to the same conclusion because of their expectations of what God should be like. If Jesus were God, He would not be exhibiting human characteristics.
Yet they fail to understand that while on earth, Jesus was fully God and fully man. Therefore, in the Bible, you will find verses that talk about His deity and verses that talk about His manhood.
- Jesus got hungry and thirsty. (Matt 4:2; John 19:28).
- He got weary from traveling. (John 4:6).
- He needed sleep and refreshment. (Matt 8:24).
- He wept at the tomb of a dear friend. (John 11:35).
Jesus eats the Last Supper with His disciples
Luke 22:7, 14-20 Then came the day of Unleavened Bread on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed…When the hour came, Jesus and his apostles reclined at the table. And he said to them, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfilment in the kingdom of God.” After taking the cup, he gave thanks and said, “Take this and divide it among you. For I tell you I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.
The Jews practised the sacrifice of animals. What do you think is the significance of these animal sacrifices for them?
Muslims too practise sacrifice of animals. For the Muslims, animal sacrifices are carried out on certain occasions.
- Aqiqah is a sacrament of initiation for a baby with the sacrifice of two goats for the birth of boys and one goat for a girl.
- Animal sacrifices are made when Muslims do their pilgrimage at the Hajj.
- At the end of the Hajj (annual pilgrimage to Mecca), Muslims throughout the world celebrate the holiday of Eid al-Adha (Festival of Sacrifice) with the sacrifice of a lamb.
What do you think is the significance of animal sacrifices for the Muslims?
For the Jews
The Jews offered animal sacrifices to God to symbolize the animal taking away the sins of the nation.
(Lev 16:15-16 NIV) “He shall then slaughter the goat for the sin offering for the people and take its blood behind the curtain…He shall sprinkle it on the atonement cover and in front of it. In this way he will make atonement for the Most Holy Place because of the uncleanness and rebellion of the Israelites, whatever their sins have been.
When Jesus died on the cross, He became the actual sacrifice for sin that the animal sacrifices up to this point has been pointing to.
John 1:29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!
Hebrews 9:11-12 But when Christ came as high priest of the good things that are now already here, he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not made with human hands, that is to say, is not a part of this creation. He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption.
For the Muslims
Aqiqah consists of shaving the head of the new-born child, killing a sheep or goat as sacrifice, no bone of which may be broken, and offering this prayer: ‘O God, here is the aqiqah for my son/daughter, its blood for his/her blood, its flesh for his flesh, its hair for his hair and save my son/daughter from the fire, etc.’”
The animal who suffered and died is believed to have done so on a substitutionary basis. In other words, the animal died so that the child need not have to die.
This custom of an animal that is killed without breaking the bones has a parallel in the Old Testament and the life of Jesus.
Then the LORD said to Moses, “Tell the Israelites: ‘When any of you or your descendants are unclean because of a dead body or are away on a journey, they are still to celebrate the LORD’s Passover, but they are to do it on the fourteenth day of the second month at twilight. They are to eat the lamb, together with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. They must not leave any of it till morning or break any of its bones. (Numbers 9:9-12)
But when they came to Jesus and found that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. These things happened so that the scripture would be fulfilled: “Not one of his bones will be broken,” (John 19:33-36)
Muslims also make animal sacrifices during Hajj. Some Muslim scholars believe that animal sacrifices during Hajj is not merely a commemorative act but have something to do with salvation from sin.
“Sacrifice in a mass scale brings people near God. For this reason, the animal for sacrifice should be stout and strong. Hope that in lieu of every limb of the sacrificed animal, God will save your every limb from Hell-fire. The more it is stout and strong, the more you will be free from Hell-fire.” (Imam Ghazali, eminent Muslim scholar)