Good morning everyone! We have made it to Wednesday! Hope your middle of the week is going well so far!
Mark 11:15-19The Message
15-17 They arrived at Jerusalem. Immediately on entering the Temple Jesus started throwing out everyone who had set up shop there, buying and selling. He kicked over the tables of the bankers and the stalls of the pigeon merchants. He didn’t let anyone even carry a basket through the Temple. And then he taught them, quoting this text:
My house was designated a house of prayer for the nations;
You’ve turned it into a hangout for thieves.
18 The high priests and religion scholars heard what was going on and plotted how they might get rid of him. They panicked, for the entire crowd was carried away by his teaching.19 At evening, Jesus and his disciples left the city.
This morning I have been a little stuck around scripture. Every morning I wake up and come to the computer. I open up a daily revised common lectionary and look at the three scripture choices. Today this was part of it. On Sundays we use a different set of texts. I had just written on Matthew’s version of this text yesterday for our upcoming Palm Sunday set of scriptures. So you will see another writing on a similar text in three weeks.
I read all of the scriptures and this was the most clear scripture out of the three. There was a Psalm and a passage from Ezra which seem mostly about names and dates.
This scripture in Mark really marks a shift in how Jesus is treated. Mark outlines that by Jesus making a scene he is now marked by death. The whole story of Mark will shift to Jesus proving who he is and what will happen to him. He has just rode into town around palms and now is causing a scene. Matthew does the same thing but later on in the book. The timing seems more appropriate for our timeline. This story in Matthew will kick off holy week. But this story in Mark comes to us still three weeks out.
What do we do with that? John puts the cleansing of the temple near the beginning. Jesus begins with a bang and the John is constantly trying to prove who Jesus is. Mark gives us some time to shift.
At this point in Lent, I do start to feel a little shifting. Jesus has to get my attention somehow. We have been wandering for three weeks and we have three weeks to go. There has to be something that moves us, gets our attention, wakes us up. This is a shocking story. It should rattle us awake so that we are ready for the next weeks. What is shifting inside of us? What next steps will there be? Where will Jesus make a fit so we will pay attention?
What do you think about this story?