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  • Eric Kampmann

A Den of Robbers

Jesus entered the temple and drove out all who sold and bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you make it a den of robbers.” And the blind and the lame came to him in the temple, and he healed them. But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying out in the temple, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” they were indignant, and they said to him, “Do you hear what these are saying?” And Jesus said to them, “Yes; have you never read, “‘Out of the mouth of infants and nursing babies you have prepared praise’?” And leaving them, he went out of the city to Bethany and lodged there.

—Psalm 147:4–5

Jesus entered Jerusalem, The city of David, to find the temple courts teeming with people getting and spending, while the temple itself loomed over the scene as a rebuke to all who pursued a mammon and not God. How far the people had fallen. David said about the temple, "Open for me the gates of righteousness, I will enter and give thanks to the Lord. This is the gate of the Lord through which the righteous may enter. I will give thanks, for you answered me, you have become my salvation" (Psalm 118:19-21). But Jesus called it a "den of robbers," echoing the words of the prophet Jeremiah, "will you steal and murder, commit adultery and perjury, burn incense to Baal and follow other gods you have not known, and then come and stand before me at this house, which bears my Name, and say, 'We are safe'--safe to do all these detestable things? Has this House, which bears my name, become a den of robbers to you?" (Jeremiah 7:9-11) The people had drifted into a dangerous disregard for God, even in the courtyard of the temple.

–Eric Kampmann, Getting To Know Jesus

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