This is such a fascinating Gospel story.
I think the reason many of us find it intriguing is because it cuts across our customary image of Jesus.
Jesus is so gentle and loving in many of the stories about him, taking children in his arms and blessing them, washing the disciples’ feet and so forth, that we run the risk of domesticating him, making him one dimensional.
Jesus as our Good Shepherd is tender and gentle, but he is so much more than that.
Jesus was a person, a man, and he experienced the full range of complex emotions that humanity has to offer.
Jesus is so intense in this story of driving the moneychangers from the temple. It’s almost embarrassing to think about it, especially for us extremely polite Anglicans.
The last thing we would ever think of doing is creating a shouting ruckus in church, which is essentially what Jesus does here.
He descends on the Temple like a furious storm, sweeping through with incandescent rage and leaving wreckage behind him.
The difference, of course, is that instead of a harvest of death, the storm that Jesus unleashes on the Temple is in the service of life.
Rather than the people dying, Jesus offers his own life as the price of the sin and evil in the world being destroyed.
This event of Jesus driving the moneychangers out of the Temple is described in all four gospels, which lends it an extra force of realism.
Everybody who was writing about Jesus agreed that this happened, and that it was important to remember it. Continue reading