I am going back and reacquainting myself with one of my favorite writers. His name is Martin Franzmann and he was born in Lake City Minnesota in 1907. He is one of the old guard and many of you may not know who he is. He wrote the hymn
“Thy strong Word did cleave the darkness”. He is one of those men that makes his mark quietly and with dignity and then fades away. I’m going back and reading his marvelous book on discipleship called “Follow Me” Published by CPH way back in 1961. I have always been fascinated by the events that took place in Jerusalem from the entry we call Palm Sunday, to the events of Maundy Thursday and of course the crucifixion. All of the sayings and doings of Jesus lead up to a great climax which is definitely the cross. But there are so many subtle signs of judgment throughout that week. It is interesting to get a scholarly look at just a few of them. Here us what Franzmann says about the cleansing of the temple in Matthew 21…….
The cleansing of the temple is a messianic call to repentance. Jesus accompanied that call with the messianic proclamation of the grace of the kingdom; he healed the blind and the lame while the children kept up the cry which meanwhile died out upon the lips of their elders: “Hosanna to the Son of David”. Thus he declared the will of the God who desires mercy and not sacrifice. The cleansing of the temple had no effect on the guardians of the temple, the chief priests and the scribes; their will was impervious to this grace of the Messiah too. They could not undo the deeds of mercy which we which he had done in the temple, but they asked Jesus to silence the acclamation of the children (Matthew 21:16). They could see no royal Messianic splendor in what Jesus was doing; and they could probably make nothing of a Messiah who interpreted the cries of the children as a doxology created by God himself, in terms of the eighth psalm, and who welcomed their song of praise with the same glad heart that made him thank God for revealing Him to the babes” .
What does Psalm 8 say?
Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory in the heavens.2 Through the praise of children and infants you have established a stronghold against your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger. 3 When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, 4 what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them? 5 You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned themwith glory and honor. 6 You made them rulers over the works of your hands; you put everything under theirfeet: 7 all flocks and herds, and the animals of the wild, 8 the birds in the sky and the fish in the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas.9 Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!