Vugt: Jesus clears the temple

THE Gospel for today (Mk 2:13-25) says, “As the Passover of the Jews was at hand, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the Temple court he found merchants selling oxen, sheep and doves, and money-changers seated at their tables. Making a whip of cords, he drove them all out of the Temple court, together with the oxen and sheep. He knocked over the tables of the money-changers, scattering the coins, and ordered the people selling doves, ‘Take all this away, and stop turning my Father’s house into a marketplace!’

His disciples recalled the words of Scripture: Zeal for your House devours me like fire.

The Jews then questioned Jesus, ‘Where are the miraculous signs which give you the right to do this?’ And Jesus said, ‘Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up.’ The Jews then replied, ‘The building of this temple has already taken forty-six years, and will you raise it up in three days?’

Actually, Jesus was referring to the temple of his body. Only when he had risen from the dead did his disciple remember these words; then they believed both the Scriptures and the words Jesus had spoken.

Jesus stayed in Jerusalem during the Passover Festival, and many believed in his Name when they saw the miraculous signs he performed. But Jesus did not trust himself to them, because he knew all of them. He had no need of evidence about anyone, for He himself knew what there was in each one.”

On another note - Jesus had not yet begun his preaching. He went to the Temple of Jerusalem that was the heart of the Jewish nation and the symbol of their religion. The Temple, however, was not immune from corruption and lust for power. In the Temple the people had to make use of the priests’ services to offer their sacrifices. The priests’ authority and power derived from the Temple. The Temple was the place where the community’s offerings and gifts were brought; and there the chief priests disposed of this treasure. Besides this, they also received the taxes that the sellers and money changers paid.

The apostles could not understand these words: for at that time nothing was more sacred to them than the Temple and the Scripture. Later, they would know that the most ordinary word of Jesus had as much weight as the whole of Scripture. They would also understand that Jesus is the true Temple. Until then, people constructed temples and looked for places where they could meet God and obtain his favors. Now God has made himself present in Jesus: it is he who delivers God’s riches to us.

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