The Culmination of Messiah's Mission, 19:45-24:53

1. The Messiah and the Temple, 19:45-21:38

i] Cleansing the temple - a story about its meaning





i] Context: See 1:5-25. The six episodes which make up the teaching unit, Jesus Cleanses the Temple, 19:45-20:18, serves as the first section of the concluding major section The Culmination of Messiah's Mission, 19:45-24:53. This major section loosely follows Mark, with Luke including some material from his owns sources (possibly including Q). Luke is not so much focused on the chronology of Jesus' final days in Jerusalem, but approaches the subject more thematically. Ellis proposes three thematic blocks of six episodes: First, the Messiah and his engagement with the religion of Israel and its place in redemptive history, 19:45-21:38; Second, the meaning of Messiah's death - the last supper to Jesus' trial, 22:1-23:25; Third, the glorification of the messiah, the exaltation of Jesus and his realization of the kingdom, 23:26-24:53.

The first section, The Messiah and the Temple, 19:45-21:38, opens with Jesus' cleansing of the temple and his ongoing interaction with Israel's religious authorities; they have rejected the cornerstone and now it will crush them, 19:45-20:18. Jesus' debates with the religious authorities continue over the next four episodes: legal, 20:19-26; theological, 20:27-40; interpretive, 20:41-44; and moral, 20:45-21:4. The debates primarily serve to entrap Jesus, but only serve to show up the blind state of Israel's religious authorities. The first section concludes in the sixth episode with Jesus' teaching on the coming Day of the Lord, 21:5-38.

"The rejection of Jesus by the Sanhedrin is a dominant note, and it is significant for the meaning of the temple episodes. Jesus comes to the temple of Israel to purge and renew it. Instead of accepting his messianic role the Sanhedrin insistently resists and rejects him. Jesus, in turn, accepts the rejection as the purpose of God. He then pronounces God's judgment on religious Judaism and its temple", Ellis.


ii] Structure: This passage, The Cleansing of the Temple, presents as follows:


iii] Interpretation:


iv] Synoptics:

Text -


Luke Introduction

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