Monday: The Cleansing of the Temple

Mark 11:12-19

Jesus does not do much on Monday, not much; but what he does is both puzzling and provocative. First he does what is puzzling.  He curses a fig tree even though it was not the season for fig. That is puzzling, unless, of course, it is an Acted Parable. Think about that. Who is it that has not born fruit? Then Jesus does what is provocative, he cleanses the temple. He turns over the tables of the money changers, but he also turns over the lives of the chief priest and scribes, because the people were drawn to his teaching, away from them. Conflict is coming.  The text declares:

When he and his disciples came to Jerusalem Jesus entered the temple
and began to drive out those who were selling and those who were
buying in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-
changers and the seats of those who sold doves, and he would not
allow anyone to carry anything through the temple.

He was teaching and saying, “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be
called a house of prayer for all the nations’? But you have made it
a den of robbers.”

And when the chief priests and the scribes heard it, they kept
looking for a way to kill him; for they were afraid of him because 
the whole crowd was spellbound by his teaching. And when evening
came, Jesus and his disciples went out of the city.

The passion hymn declares:

To your temple, Lord, I come, 
for it is my worship home. 
This earth has no better place, 
here I see my Savior’s face. 
From your house when I return, 
may my heart within me burn, 
and at evening let me say, 
“I have walked with God today.”

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