The best advice I can give is from a talk by Elder Oaks: ”Last year a church member sent me a suggestion that someone prepare a book containing all General Authority interpretations of all verses in the scriptures. I replied that I thought this was not a good idea…. What we are seeking to accomplish… is not to magnify the standing of the prophets but to elevate the spirituality of our rank and file members. Like Moses, we declare, ‘would God that all the Lord’s people were prophets, and that the Lord would put his spirit upon them!’ (Numbers 11:29). We encourage everyone to study the scriptures prayerfully and seek personal revelation to know the meaning for themselves.” (Elder Dallin H. Oaks, “Scripture Reading and Revelation”, BYU Studies Academy Meeting, January 29, 1993)

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Reading Between the Lines: Christ Cleanses the Temple

This year I have been called to teach the 11 year olds in Primary. We are doing the New Testament.
Each week I keep telling them to really look at the scriptures that they are reading and to “Look between the lines” for more of the story.
Last week we talked about the 1st cleansing of the Temple.

John 3: 13 ¶And the Jews’ passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem,

14 And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting:

15 And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables;

16 And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise.

I am sure that Christ had been coming to the temple at Passover His whole life. He had seen these people and what they did.
Once he was of age and His ministry had begun He took action. This was no out of control rage. As the class said, No HULK SMASH!!! This was thought out and maybe even planned.
 He took the time to make a scourge before He started to drive them out.
Always in control, He poured out the money and tipped over tables. He knew what He was doing as evidenced by verse 16 where He paused at the table of cages full of doves, handing them to the owners and asking them to take them away. Not wanting to injury the helpless birds I am sure.
I asked the class why was He so mad, one of the reasons brought up was the mess and smell that would be present in the Temple from the sheep and oxen.
How do we feel when we see any small bit of trash on Temple Grounds?
I also find it interesting that in the telling of the 2nd cleansing at the end of His ministry, there is no mention of oxen or sheep. Makes me wonder.
Think of the reaction that the money changers had. Especially at the 2nd cleansing. I am sure they quickly grabbed their items and exited stage right.
One last thought, at the first cleansing He called it His Fathers House, at the 2nd it was His House.

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