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Monday, April 2, 2012

Holy Week, Monday - Kicking Out the Robbers

Jesus walked into the temple Mark says on Monday after the triumphal entry, Matthew and Luke indicate it's on Palm Sunday. Which day isn't as important as what happened and why, is it?

It wasn't the first time. John records another time at the beginning of Jesus' ministry. (I know, some say it was the same event and who knows which time it really happened. I think there were two incidents, MOHO.) He seemed to think it was important that the Temple was a place of worship, not a den of thieves.

The floor of the Temple was paved with stones, which means the cattle and bird dung could have become pretty smelly. The priests took a cut off the top of what the vendors charged. Prices for sacrifices were exhorbitant. The prices were marked up because they had been certified as unblemished by the priests. At a cost, of course. And then there was a hefty profit margin for the vendors.

Often the priests refused to allow sacrifices other than those purchased in the temple to increase their own profits, saying the lamb or calf or dove had a blemish and couldn't be used.

Money changers were there to change foreign currency for Hebrew coins. Offerings were all supposed to be Hebrew money. Again, the priests took a cut. And of course, the money changers wanted a profit, too, the bigger the better.

Is it any wonder Jesus was upset? His Father's house a den of thieves? It was supposed to be a house of prayer for all nations. Such a thing aught not to be. He threw over the money-changers' tables and chased animals and people out.

As if He weren't already in enough hot water with the priests. For some reason, this event really set them off. It was their last straw. They began working on someone they thought would crack. Who would sell out this, this boat-rocker?

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