Jesus-casting-money-changers-from-the-temple

There is a saying that goes, “What would Jesus do?” When you think of that little dittie, consider what Jesus did one day while at the Jewish Temple. He fashioned a whip with many pieces and went into the arena where the money changers were and began whipping and turning over the tables, explaining that these people should immediately leave.

It was that moment where Jesus lost his zen. Most of us are taught or told that Jesus was ticked off that the temple had been turned into a place of business. Certainly what he was said to have said would suggest this. Dig deeper, and you might just get a little more depth on this story. And it is interesting and it might well provide a little more insight into Jesus the dude who lost his zen. But before you begin thinking Jesus would just whip out his whip whenever he got upset (he did reportedly cause a fig to wither because it was not bearing any fruit—Jesus must have really liked his figs!).

The Jews did not use pagan money in their temple. They would not use any money with the figure of a roman or roman god-dess struck on its face for their tribute payments. Instead, they had something called a half-shekel minted for their use. The money changers, it turns out, were hoarding these shekels, which caused the cost of them to go up. It was an artificial rarity that was being created, effectively, market manipulation. What this did, though, was it made all trade for tribute payment more expensive for the common people. If it cost a farmer a bag of grain for a half shekel, it now would cost him and his family more, say, a bag and a half. This was a tax on the people and who was getting the tax? You got it; the temple moneychangers.

And this ticked Jesus off. A lot. So much, in fact, he went in and turned over tables and ordered these folks out. And of course, he very likely got on the wrong side of the Pharisees and Sadducees. I like this story for the very fact that it puts a human face on the man we so often wish to deify and make less than human and more unearthly. He was, after all, human.

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