Friday, September 14, 2012

They And Them: Part 2.5 *updated*

*Note: Something odd happened when this originally posted. One of the embeded links did not post, and some of the lines appeared blank or missing words. I've reposted and it seems to be fine*

One of the guys I work with reads this crazy blog. He asked me just who were the "money changers" and why did Jesus get so upset over the whole thing. Well, I figured maybe I ought to flesh out the story a bit.

Imagine if you went to church and found a Bank Of America branch in the foyer. And maybe a store like Spencers.  And everyone in the church, bank, and store was on the take. Sounds crazy doesn't it?

But that was sort of what happened to Jesus.

During certain festivals, thousands and thousands of Jews would travel from all over to meet there, make sacrifices, and receive blessings. The most common sacrifice was a pigeon. The Bible says it was a dove, but more than likely it was a pigeon.

Jesus arrived and found a Roman bank in the foyer. A crooked Roman bank along with other shops hawking gaudy trinkets.

Let's watch and listen in:

The Temple
A One Act Play
by Catman

Jesus arrives inside the temple, stands in the shadows, and witnesses the following exchange between a priest of the Temple and one of his fellow Jews.

Priest: (matter of fact) I'm sorry, sir. You can't bring that bird in here.

Man: (bewildered)  What? Why? I have to make my sacrifice. I've traveled days to get here!

Priest: (patient) Yes, sir I understand, but that bird is unclean.

Man: (aggravated)  What do you mean it is unclean? I just bought it in the market this morning! From the same merchant you did!

Priest [feigning shock] (chuckling): No, no, sir! You must be mistaken! We would never provide our visitors common pigeons unsuitable for The Lord! These are the finest pigeons direct from shores of the Wadi Tumilat in Egypt, former site of our captivity, where cooling breezes...

Man: (angrily insistent)  No, it was you! I know it was you! I was standing right behind you!

Priest: [smiling patiently, motions Temple guard over]

Guard: [guard approaches the two men, hand on sword hilt] (stern) Is there a problem here?

Man: (exasperated) Alright! Alright! How much for the bird?

Priest: [smiling broadly](pleased) Please step right over into that line there, and the gentleman will be glad to assist you.

*After a brief wait for several other patrons to finish their transactions.*

Man: (grumbling) One pigeon, please.

Vendor: (bored) That will be five sheckles.

Man: (shocked) FIVE!? I paid ONE in the market this morning!

Vendor: (mildly sympathetic) Buddy, I just work here. I don't make the rules.

Man: (irritated) Fine. Well, how much is that in Roman silver?

Vendor: (quietly fearful) Dude, what caravan did you just fall off? You can't pay with  Roman silver. The Temple doesn't accept Roman silver. Do you know how much trouble you can get into trying to pay for things here with Roman silver?

Man: (mournfully) All I have is Roman silver!

Vendor: (harsh whisper) Keep it down!

Vendor: [pointing to a neighboring table with a line stretching out the door, down the Temple steps and into the courtyard](indifferent) See that line? That's the bank. They'll exchange your Roman silver for Tyrian silver.  Make sure you get enough changed out to pay the priests their bri..., um, honorariums. They don't take Roman silver either.

Vendor: (conspiratorily) And make sure you buy some of that junk on the tables when you leave. The guards get a cut. They're watching.

Man: [starts to turn away dejectedly]

Vendor: [grabs man's arm](concerned) Did anyone tell you they charge a 45% exchange rate?

Jesus [strides to the center of the room, thumps His staff loudly on the floor and points at a group of Saduceen Priests who have just entered] (shouting excitedly) "My Temple will be called a house of prayer, but you have turned it into a den of thieves!"


Well.....the rest is history.

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