Take all this out of here!

Jesus is the Son of God. He is also truly human and feels the same emotions that we do. In today’s Gospel we see Jesus moved by passion and anger. The Temple in Jerusalem was God’s house on earth; a holy place where all God’s people could go to worship and offer sacrifice. But they could only sacrifice animals that were approved by the Temple authorities and to buy the approved animals, they first had to change their money for special Temple coins. The holy place had been turned into a marketplace and the People of God were being exploited. This, it seems, is the cause of Jesus’ anger; this is what moves him to turn over the tables and drive out the animals and the money changers. The symbolic action shows his disciples that Jesus is full of zeal for his Father’s house.

We should note that, although Jesus is angry, he does not use violence and no one is hurt by his actions. We never see Jesus harm anyone. When he is asked for a sign to justify what he has done, he replies, ‘Destroy this sanctuary, and in three days I will raise it up.’ As John explains, Jesus is foretelling his own suffering and death. The Son of God comes into our world not to do violence but to suffer violence and to give his life for us.

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