Today’s art is Cleansing of the Temple by Pieter Aertsen.
Pieter Aertsen (Amsterdam, 1508 –1575), called Lange Piet (“Tall Pete”) because of his height, was a Dutch painter in the style of Northern Mannerism. He is credited with the invention of the monumental genre scene, which combines still life and genre painting and often also includes a biblical scene in the background. He was active in his native city Amsterdam but also worked for a long period in Antwerp, then the centre of artistic life in the Netherlands. He married Kathelijne Beuckelaar. Of the couple’s eight children, three sons, Pieter, Aert, and Dirk became successful painters.

Psalm 69.8-16

Scriptures for today:

John 2.13-22

Notes for the Message: “What Made Jesus Angry?”

What DID NOT make Jesus angry?

  • The vendors and moneychangers cheating people
  • The Temple worship system
  • Ritual purity laws
  • The Jew-only nature of the Temple

What DID make Jesus angry?

  • Limiting worship and holy space to the Temple

   John 2.16 compared to Zechariah 14.21

  • Making the Temple a space for preferred insiders 

   Mark 11.17 compared to Isaiah 56.6-7

  • “Den of Robbers” Using Temple worship as a way to feel good about yourself even when you don’t live God’s way.

   Matthew 21.13 compared to Jeremiah 7.9-10

  • Having less passion/enthusiasm/zeal for God’s house than you do other things. 

   John 2.17 compared to Psalm 69.9

The Temple was destroyed by the Romans in 70AD. So after that time, Temple worship was not available. But that did not stop people from worshiping.  At the end of this episode of Jesus cleansing the Temple, Jesus changes the subject and says “Destroy this Temple and in three days I will raise it up.” The Scripture says “He was speaking of the temple of his body.” “The Jewish followers of Jesus took comfort in the idea that Jesus’ body was for them a new temple. In the sacrifice of Jesus, and in eating the bread and drinking the wine, they could find the reconciliation that they had previously found in the Jerusalem Temple.” (Levine p61)

Our Lent Study: ‘Entering the Passion of Jesus’

The events of Christ’s Passion, which take place during the last week of Jesus’ life, often don’t receive enough time in our worship and study. These stories are important to our faith journey and our identity as followers of Jesus. And yet we often move too quickly from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday with little time to take in the dramatic story of that last week. Throughout the six weeks of Lent we will “freeze-frame” moments in Holy Week so we might put ourselves in the picture, thereby “Entering the Passion of Jesus.” How might taking a closer look at the ancient story open us to deeper conviction for our role in its ongoing message? Inspired by Amy-Jill Levine’s book by the same name.