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Know God in a Year #183 A Second Indictment on Greed

From the fig orchard, Jesus and disciples arrive at the temple Monday morning, and find worse mayhem than when he cleaned out the greed mongers three years earlier–a veritable cattle yard.
It’s Passover week and the city is filled with travelers. Sellers are bickering over the high prices of animals for sacrifice, combined with priests arguing over exchange rates for temple coins. Animal cries add a din of sound and confusion. These dignitaries of the temple were so controlled by greed they were like thieves.
Jesus stops and looks, thinking how little his sacrifice will be understood by these who have multiplied sacrifices with no meaning, no symbolism. A literal blood bath for what? The very symbols pointing to him were means of making money.
But instead of tears now, divine anger flashes through, and once again every eye is drawn to him. He seems larger than life, his displeasure seems like consuming fire. The spreading silence is eerie.
Once again his voice rings like a trumpet, “It is written, My house shall be a house of prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves. Get these things out of here!” As he turns the tables, traders, priests, and rulers flee.
Since the last time they had run from him, they had wondered why, embarrassed that they hadn’t stood up to him; thinking it couldn’t happen again. Yet now they feel more fear than before. They can’t leave fast enough, merchants driving their cattle before them, the priests fleeing beside them.
Matthew 21:12-13,  Mark 11:15-17,  Luke 19:45-46
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