Now as He came again to the temple, He found the same traffic still carried on. The court was filled with cattle, sheep, and birds. These were sold to those who wished to offer sacrifice for their sins.
Extortion and robbery were practised by those engaged in this traffic. So great was the babel of sounds from the court, that it seriously disturbed the worshippers within.
Christ stood on the steps of the temple, and again His piercing gaze swept over the court. All eyes were turned toward Him. The voices of the people and the noise of the cattle were hushed. All looked with astonishment and awe upon the Son of God.
The divine flashed through the human, and gave Jesus a dignity and glory He had never manifested before. The silence became almost unbearable.
At last He said in clear tones, and with a power that swayed the people like a mighty tempest:
"It is written, My house is the house of prayer: but ye have made it a den of thieves." Luke 19:46.
With still greater authority than He had manifested three years before, He commanded:
"Take these things hence."
Once before the priests and rulers of the temple had fled at the sound of this voice. Afterward they were ashamed of their fear. They felt that they would never flee in this way again.
Yet they were now more terrified, and in greater haste than before to obey His command, and they rushed from the temple, driving their cattle before them.
Soon the court was filled with people who brought their sick to be healed by Jesus. Some were dying. These afflicted ones felt their distressing need.
They fixed their eyes imploringly upon the face of Christ, fearing to see there the severity which had driven out the buyers and sellers. But they saw in His face only love and tender pity.
Jesus kindly received the sick, and disease and suffering fled at the touch of His hand. He tenderly gathered the children in His arms, soothed their fretful cries,banished sickness and pain from their little forms, and handed them back,smiling and healthy, to their mothers.
What a scene to greet the priests and rulers as they cautiously made their way back to the temple! They heard the voices of men, women, and children praising God.
They saw the sick healed, the blind restored to sight, the deaf receive their hearing, and the lame leap for joy.
The children took the lead in these rejoicings. They repeated the hosannas of the day before, and waved palm branches before the Saviour. The temple echoed and re-echoed with their shouts:
"Hosanna to the Son of David:
"Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord!" Matthew 21:9.
"Behold, thy King cometh unto thee: He is just, and having salvation." Zechariah 9:9.
The rulers tried to silence the shouts of the happy children, but all were filled with joy and praise for the wonderful works of Jesus, and they would not be silenced.
The rulers then turned to the Saviour, hoping that He would command them to cease. They said to Him:
"Hearest Thou what these say?"
Jesus replied,"Yea; have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings Thou hast perfected praise?" Matthew 21:16.
The blessed privilege of heralding the birth of Christ and forwarding His work in the earth had been refused by the haughty rulers of the people.His praises must be sounded; and God chose the children to do it. Had the voices of these rejoicing children been silenced, the very pillars of the temple would have cried out in the Saviour's praise.