November 16, 2018


Hating Sin (ANTHONY ESOLEN, 11/14/18, Crisis)

It is Passover, and Jesus has gone up to Jerusalem with his disciples. He has come to the Temple, where he finds people "selling oxen and sheep and pigeons, and the moneychangers at their business." It is interesting to note what he does then, and what he does not do.

He does not engage the moneychangers in a discussion about what profits are licit and what are not in the sale of sacrificial animals. He does not bid the salesmen good day. He makes a whip of cords, which must have taken some deliberation and time. We can imagine the intense anger of our Lord as he did this, and it is hardly likely that any of the disciples knew what he would do next before he began to do it: he "drove them all, with the sheep and oxen, out of the temple." Jesus, remember, was a construction worker. The man whose image is imprinted miraculously upon the Shroud of Turin is tall, broad shouldered, and barrel-chested. He was not singing falsetto in the Galilee glee club.

Nor does Jesus spare the instruments of their trade. For "he poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables," and told the men to get lost, because they had turned his Father's house "into a house of trade," and, in another account, "a den of thieves." His disciples later applied to the scene a verse from the Psalms: "Zeal for thy house will consume me." This zeal is a powerful word for a powerful emotion: it is related to the word that is translated as jealous in the commandment: "For I the Lord your God am a jealous God," who would have his people devoted to him entirely, and not to any other gods, or to any graven image of some creature on earth, under the earth, or in the skies above.

Posted by at November 16, 2018 6:33 AM