Monday, April 10, 2017
To the End of the Road, Part 4
Then Jesus went into the temple of God and drove out all those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves. And He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’but you have made it a ‘den of thieves.’” Matthew 21:12-13, NKJV.
(continued from yesterday)
Bartholomew took the reins from Jesus as He slid off the young donkey's bank. "You want me to take the donkey and his mother back to the man we borrowed them from?"
"Yes. We'll be in the Court of Gentiles when you return." Jesus stroked the donkey's jaw. The colt's soft eyes gazed at Jesus adoringly, and then he turned to snap at Bartholomew.
With a sigh, the Master strode toward the temple.
By the time Bartholomew returned, the noise of the crowd around the temple had increased by ten fold. He heard snatches of conversations shouted between men and women alike.
"The man must be mad."
"Why would He...."
"Who does He think...."
"Rabbi Joseph said...."
"I've never seen the Pharisees so angry."
"Yes--and so were the Sadducees."
"Never thought I'd see the two agreeing on anything, but...."
Bartholomew walked into the temple's Court of Gentiles and stopped, jaw dropping.
Tables were overturned; coins, sheep, and doves were scattered all over the enclosure; men chased the escaped animals; and furious priests, Sadducees, and Pharisees stood in angry groups, glaring at Jesus. Temple visitors were a mix--some looked angry, some amused, some aghast. The Master stood in the middle of the court, hands on hips, a whip made from ropes dangling from one hand. "It's written that God's temple should be a house of prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves," he shouted.
The disciples stood around Him, eyes wide and frightened as they stared at the ones who ruled the religious community.
"Lord, we need to leave. They'll be sending for the guards and you'll be arrested." Thomas's brow was wet with sweat, even though the morning was cool, and he tugged at Jesus's sleeve.
"Likely they'll arrest us too," Judas muttered.
The Master finally nodded. "All right. Martha will probably be waiting supper for us, but we'll come back here tomorrow."