Today is Holy Monday.
Jesus and His followers are full of reverence today.
After all, they’re visiting the Temple. The same place He was dedicated as a child. The dwelling place of His Father.
He approaches the glorious structure, as the Real and Shadow Salvations come together in one unified picture. He enters through the outer gates, where they are met with those engaging in commerce and unethical trade in the Temple courts.
The scene horrifies Him.
The clinking of coins. The echo of shouts. Tables with money boxes. Passover sacrifices.
Sellers are selling, and buyers are buying. In His Holy Temple. Sanctity littered by greed.
You see, many Jerusalem residents know the city is full of travelers from far away who have come for the annual Jewish Passover pilgrimage.
Knowing the out-of-towners need animals for the Passover offering, the residents happily sell them what they needed – at an inflated price.
Yes, much like ticket scalpers of our day, these shady people sell Passover sacrifices at an exorbitant price to the desperate travelers – all within the confines of the Holy Temple.
What was this? Jesus thinks. Who thinks this is okay?
Evidently, they all did.
How does Jesus react when He sees the unethical trading? Does He turn a blind eye? Become mealy – mouthed and pat their hands?
Anger bubbles over in His stomach. He flips those commerce tables with indignant force. One after another is upended. Clank ! Money boxes crash to the floor. Boom! Chairs flip. People scatter as He makes a whip out of rope and begins thrashing them.
The buyers and sellers are appalled. Who is this Man disturbing their business? How can He justify the disruption? Would He pay them for damages? Certainly so! Indignation spreads throughout the trade scene and shows itself in the resentful stares of those profiting from the exchange.
Jesus surveys the scene. There will be no insatiability in God’s Kingdom. There is no room for self-interest in His economy.
Whoa, Jesus. Dare I say that He’s being….confrontational?
Yes, He is.
And that’s exactly what’s needed when faced with unholiness. When you recognize the greed in your own heart, a meek response won’t cut it. It’s gotta go. Confront it for what it is: ugliness. Unholiness. Make every effort to put it to death. Turn it on its side like Jesus did in the Temple.
There is no room for dirt in God’s Holy Place. And you, my Friend, are God’s Holy Temple.
Satisfied that every business transaction has been thwarted – at least for the moment – He retreats.
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