073R - The Cleansing

"In the Midst of Thee" - volumes 1 & 2 contain 200 favorite Glenn Rawson Stories - at: History of the Saints . org

Near the end of the Savior’s ministry, two events occurred which have been on my mind lately. If you don’t mind, I’d like to share them.

On the last Monday of the Lord’s life, He entered the temple in Jerusalem and found in its courts a scene that angered Him. Flocks of cattle and sheep were milling and bawling; moneychangers with their temples [tables] exchanged current coinage for temple coinage that pilgrims might pay the temple tax. Haggling vendors hawked their wears in a scene that would remind us of carnivals at fair time. The noise, the stench, and especially the blasphemous desecration of holy ground moved the Lord to indignant anger. With whip and thunderous command He drove them out into the streets where they belonged. No one dared oppose Him, not even the leaders of the Jews whose pockets were being lined by the ill-gotten gain. Why? – Because in guilt there is weakness.

Twice the Lord cleansed the temple, once at the beginning of His ministry, and again at the end. Now I’ve wondered if there’s a broader parallel. I mean – the Lord ‘cleaned house’ once on this earth with a flood. The second time it will be with fire – and clean it will be. Of that we may be assured.

Now the second story takes place the following day, Tuesday. While in the precincts of the temple, He prophesies the total destruction of the temple, and denounces the leaders of the Jews for their hypocrisy and corruption. Upon leaving the temple, He retires to the solitude of the Mount of Olives. As He sat, probably looking over the city, His disciples come to Him privately and ask Him when the temple would be destroyed – when would the prophesy be fulfilled? – and what would be the signs of His second coming? The Savior’s answers to those questions constitute Matthew 24 and what we call the discourse on ‘the signs of the times.’

Now my purpose here is not to enumerate those signs, but to look carefully at the emotional aftermath they had on the disciples. He describes to the twelve such horrible things as ‘wars and rumors of wars,’ and ‘the whole earth in commotion,’ and ‘men’s hearts failing them for fear just before His coming.’ He speaks of ‘the love of men’ in our day ‘waxing cold,’ and ‘iniquity abounding,’ of ‘earthquakes and desolating sicknesses,’ and ‘men killing one another.’ When He finishes, the apostles are visibly scared and upset. Jesus calms them by saying, “Be not troubled, for, when all these things come to pass, you may know that the promises which have been made unto you shall be fulfilled.” (D. & C. 45:35)

Now here’s my point. If the original twelve apostles were troubled by those signs of the times, most of which would not even occur in their lifetime, how much more understandable it is that we in whose day they are being fulfilled should be troubled. Yet, there is no need to let either the signs, or the flood of wickedness and corruption around us unduly concern us. I assure you, the Good Shepherd is right on schedule, and He has not abandoned the flock just because of a little bad weather and some ravening wolves among us. I quote Him again, “Be not troubled.” (Matthew 24:6)

Glenn Rawson – January 1998
Music: New Testament video soundtrack, track 17 (edited)
Song: On That Day – Steven James & Vickey Pankee