THE WEEK OF TRINITY X – FRIDAY

LESSON: 2 THESSALONIANS 2:12‒17

And He entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold, saying to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be a house of prayer’; but you have made it a den of robbers.” Luke 19:45‒46

The temple and the whole priesthood was established to promote God’s Word and for the praise of His grace and mercy. This was to be attested with the external service of sacrifices and in public thanksgivings. But the temple services were not simply regarded by the Jews as opportunities for praising and thanking God for His grace and mercy; they turned their temple worship into a monkish doctrine of works. With their sacrifices in the temple, they believed that they could earn God’s grace for themselves, and that by the making of many sacrifices they could influence God to give them heaven and all earthly blessings as well.

All that they should have expected from God on the basis of God’s pure goodness and grace, they based on their own works and merits. In addition, in the devil’s name they went so far in all this that in their greed they set up tables for money-changers and seats for those who sold pigeons and other animals to offer as sacrifices right in the temple, so that those who came from distant lands and cities might find enough to purchase or exchange their money there. This they did to increase the trade in sacrificial animals and to enrich themselves in the process.

In the name of worship and under the excuse of worship, they absolutely distorted all worship and destroyed it. They changed God’s grace and mercy into human merit, and His gift into human work which He had to accept from them and for which He had to thank them.

SL 11:1482 (36)
AE 78:346-361

PRAYER: In Your Word, O Lord, You are giving to us; we are not giving to You. Keep us ever mindful of the fact that You are the source of all blessing, and that we are always receivers solely dependent on Your grace, in and through Christ our Savior. Amen.