Monday, March 29, 2010

Righteous Anger....

This day in Holy Week HIS-story.....

Jesus "Cleanses" the Temple

When I think of Jesus, anger is the last emotion I think of.
The "cleansing" of the temple, is an example of the righteous anger of Jesus. The Story shows up in all four Gospels. To me it is a little unnerving. It reminds us that there is no such thing as "business as usual" with Jesus, and that all who come to Him must come on His terms, not ours.
A Rabbi and therefore, fully observant Jew, Jesus joined the thousands upon thousands of pilgrims who booked it to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover at the temple.

When Jesus entered His Father's House, aka The Temple, he found men selling cattle, sheep and doves to the pilgrims who needed them to make their obligatory sacrifices. They were there to exchange their Roman currency into Jewish money in order to pay the temple tax in the coinage of the "sanctuary shekel", and thus we read that Jesus also met the money changers.

That is when all hell broke loose.

Furious with a righteous anger, Jesus improvised a whip, thrashed the animals from the temple, scattered the coffers of the money changers, and overturned their tables:

"How dare you turn my Father's house into a market!"

Let me be clear...honest transactions were necessary for pilgrims to fulfill their religious obligations, however, that is not all that was taking place here.

There was fraud and exploitation going on here- "ripping off" the poor and blocking "access" to God's Presence, is what I understand Jesus to be furious about.

Imagine the Disciples faces as they watched Jesus come "unhinged."

As subtle as a sledge hammer...they knew very quickly how He felt about ripping off the poor and keeping people from the presence of His Father. May we be very clear on His Message as well.

God, Thank You for Your Son...for His protection over Your House and over us being able to "reach" You.

In His Dust,


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