- In fact, this group with the Nazarene must be kept under secret control,
especially since the scandalous events in the temple. How could he have
dared to act as he did if he didn’t have powerful people behind him who
protect him? Who was behind him? The Pharisees? Or perhaps the Sadducees?
Give to Caesar that which is Caesar’s: is he a friend of the Romans? Or does
he speak with a snake’s forked tongue?
He came into the temple. He hadn’t been there in a long time and didn’t know
that the merchants and money changers carried out their business in Salomon’
s court, naturally with the priests’ permission, how else. It was like the
market there: they yelled, haggled, fought, the sacrificial animals bleated
and roared, it stank of urine and excrement. Yeshua stood there stiffly for
a moment, then he dove in, a storm, among the merchants, overturned their
tables and cried: Is this a den of thieves or a house of prayer? Out with
He was like a madman, but one with authority. Nobody stopped him, that was
strange, no one laid a hand on him. The merchants caught their animals, the
money-changers knelt on the floor and picked up their coins, the animals
were driven out and suddenly the court was empty.
Then the priests came: What do you think you’re doing?
And he: And what do you think you’re doing? You should have done what I did.
Who are you, that you do this? Do you have a mandate and from whom? Show us
a document that identifies you.
He said: You must know me, you heard me preach in the synagogue and here in
the temple. Why do you ask?
We are asking for your mandate!
He looked at them one after the other, then he said: I’ll give you a sign,
pay attention to my words, listen: Tear this temple down, and in three days
I will rebuild it.
Words of a madman. In three days you would build what it took our fathers a
half a century to do?
One said softly: Is he a magician?
Another: He can’t mean that literally. What is the meaning behind it?
They said: Explain yourself!
But he didn’t answer, he pulled his cloak close around him and walked
through all of them and out of the temple. We followed him and he was
uncanny to us. Was there some craziness in him after all?
Frank Thomas Smith