Tuesday, March 31, 2015
Holy Tuesday 2015
15 When Jesus returned to Jerusalem, he went into the Temple and began to throw out those who were buying and selling there. He turned over the tables of those who were exchanging different kinds of money, and he upset the benches of those who were selling doves. 16 Jesus refused to allow anyone to carry goods through the Temple courts. 17 Then he taught the people, saying, “It is written in the Scriptures, ‘My Temple will be called a house for prayer for people from all nations.’ But you are changing God’s house into a ‘hideout for robbers.’”
Because the Jewish people were expected to make all kinds of sacrifices, they would bring their money to the Temple and buy what they needed for their sacrifice there, such as the doves. I imagine that it was just like scalping tickets to a rock concert; you would pay much more for your dove at the Temple than if you bought one at home to bring with you.
18 The leading priests and the teachers of the law heard all this and began trying to find a way to kill Jesus. They were afraid of him, because all the people were amazed at his teaching. 19 That evening, Jesus and his followers left the city.
With this kind of setup, the priests were making a lot of money off of the people, money they should have been turning over to the Temple, but which I am pretty sure they kept for themselves. I can see why Jesus was angry with them, and why they didn’t like Jesus so much.
27 Jesus and his followers went again to Jerusalem. As Jesus was walking in the Temple, the leading priests, the teachers of the law, and the elders came to him. 28 They said to him, “What authority do you have to do these things? Who gave you this authority?”
29 Jesus answered, “I will ask you one question. If you answer me, I will tell you what authority I have to do these things. 30 Tell me: When John baptized people, was that authority from God or just from other people?”
31 They argued about Jesus’ question, saying, “If we answer, ‘John’s baptism was from God,’ Jesus will say, ‘Then why didn’t you believe him?’ 32 But if we say, ‘It was from other people,’ the crowd will be against us.” (These leaders were afraid of the people, because all the people believed that John was a prophet.)
33 So they answered Jesus, “We don’t know.”
Jesus said to them, “Then I won’t tell you what authority I have to do these things.”
(Mark 11 New Century Version)
Do these priests and other church leaders sound like our politicians of today? Let’s not come up with the right answer, let’s find the answer which pleases the right people. Has human nature changed much in the last two thousand years?