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Day 2 in Jerusalem: A Den of Thieves

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Shawn Akers

After Jesus’ magnificent entry into Jerusalem yesterday, you could sense that something explosive might happen. With the throngs of people surrounding Him and praising Him, believing He was going to be the man to save them from the Romans, there was a great anticipation in the air.

But as much as there was excitement and adoration for the man whom many had seen do miracles—including raising a man from the dead—you could also feel a great sense of resentment. It is no secret that the high priests have no love for Jesus, and that loathing is beginning to turn to hatred considering what Jesus did today.

Still with great crowds following Him, Jesus walked into the Temple and couldn’t believe what He saw. Merchants buying and selling, and many times not dealing with their customers in an honest manner. You wonder what goes on in the hearts of these people and why they feel like they need to cheat their customers.

In seeing this, Jesus not only drove out all of those who sold and bought in the temple, but He also overturned the tables of the moneychangers and the seats of those who sold doves. From what I’ve heard of this Man, He is not given to anger and is very forgiving to sinners.

That’s what makes this whole scene very puzzling.

Nonetheless, Jesus said to them:

“My house shall be called a house of prayer, but you have made it a ‘dean of thieves.'” (Matt. 21:13).

It’s very surprising to see a Man who brings peace to wherever He goes be so angry at these people. He also called it “My house.” A lot of people are wondering exactly what He means by that.

They would soon find out as the blind and the lame came to Him in the Temple, and He healed them (Matthew 21:14). Once again, this not only disturbed the high priests, but it angered them as well. Jesus said to them:

“Out of the mouth of children and infants, you have perfected praise?” (Matt. 21:17).

You can see people gathering around and talking. They now may be contemplating if this was the man that came to deliver them from Roman tyranny. Or is He just some prophet that is all talk and no action when it comes to defeating the Romans?

Whatever the case, the hypocrisy of many of the high priests and Jewish leaders appears as if it is about to be exposed. Jesus isn’t finished with them yet. With the look in His eyes, He has much more in store for these so-called “men of God.”

From all of this activity, He looks tired. He probably realized He wouldn’t get any rest in the city, so He left and went to Bethany, where He lodged for the night. {eoa}

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Editor’s Note: The preceding is an account of what one person could possibly have witnessed in Jerusalem on Monday. It is the second day of what happened, according to the Bible, during Holy Week. Some of the text is creative license.

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