Jesus, the Temple, and a Fig tree


If Jesus were to walk into the temple today, I wonder who and what he would drive out. More importantly , I wonder what building He would enter?  Would He be pleased with what He saw? Some might think of the modern day temple as the parish church, and others the Universal Church represented by the Vatican. Others might think of it as all that is under the influence of His Church, that which had formally been called Christendom. I like that last thought of the temple, both its house, and its people , and all that those people had constructed, both the buildings and the society. That’s how I see Jesus turning over the merchants carts and the moneychangers stalls. I see him destroying that temple we built, and Him restoring the temple He sent his disciples to build in His name.

And he said to it in reply, “May no one ever eat of your fruit again!”
And his disciples heard it.

How insightful the gospel writer was to combine the story of the fig tree that bears no fruit, and the Jerusalem temple. How well they knew Jesus as the keen observer of nature. He knew the fig tree gained its importance by its fruit, and He saw the similarities of the Temple and the fig tree. Both gained their importance by the fruit they bore, and both suffered being pillaged by those who sought low hanging fruit. Odd the thought on the one hand a tree that bears no fruit, and one that is stripped of its fruit by a greedy farmer (the temple leaders), only to be rendered sterile by their actions.

They came to Jerusalem,
and on entering the temple area
he began to drive out those selling and buying there.
He overturned the tables of the money changers
and the seats of those who were selling doves.
He did not permit anyone to carry anything through the temple area.
Then he taught them saying, “Is it not written:

My house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples?
But you have made it a den of thieves.”

Back to today, who are our temple priests? Are they only the priests of Rome, or might they also include the politicians of the day? Unlike ancient Jerusalem, we do not live in a theocracy. More honestly we are creating a theocracy of our own choosing guided by a society fattened and bloated on that low hanging fruit. Like Jerusalem, Jesus again will destroy that temple we constructed and restore that one built in truth. History repeats itself.

[The gospel account of Jesus driving the merchants out of the temple are still relevant today. Those merchants feeding off of mans beliefs still exists today. It can be those preying on the devout, manipulating them to serve their own needs. It can be the politicians feeding off and manipulating public sentiment to fit an agenda. I need not mention that popular vote in Ireland, or secularism sweeping across Europe, or internal ideological battles within the Church, or opponents waging opinion against the Church. A house of Prayer, or a Den of Thieves?]

[I did not wish the last bit of writing to drift into a rant, but simply o highlight the similarities of that ancient temple in Jerusalem and our culture today. They are so similar, ancient Jerusalem being a temple state where the economy revolved around that building. Todays society separating Church and state, but also with a State defining the moral and social and cultural code, often in a clash with its Church(es). A temple of a manipulated culture? Money talks! Its an ancient battle, though today with a State becoming a new temple; a new temple guided by the same political tactics, and agendas that perverted that ancient place of worship.Nothing radical, but simply a different way of looking at a particular passage. ]

Mk 11:11-26

Friday 8OT

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