Given by Rev. Madison Shockley November 14, 2021
Our reading talks about Jesus and the temple. He opposed what it had become. Many believe his assault on the temple lead to his crucifixion. This event is often sanitized and renamed the cleansing of the temple. This was not just about religion. It was political and economic too. The Jewish authorities prosecuted Jesus for leading a revolt. Some compare this event with the assault on the Capitol Building on January 6th. To his followers, the leaders were doing the same thing as Jesus, cleaning out the corruption. Jesus felt the temple was no longer God’s house. It was no longer a refuge for the poor, a sanctuary. The people storming the Capitol were upset that democracy had prevailed and prevent the members from performing their duties. These are not the same yet this comparison is only to help us understand how the Jewish leaders felt about Jesus’s actions. Jesus’s actions had long lasting effects. The apostles asked Jesus about his words later. He warns them that many will try to lead them astray. Jesus warns not to put your hopes in a building. You need to be put your hope in God. Many would claim to be the Savior. The apostles used the reality of the Jewish revolt to distance themselves from the zealots. They established a new hierarchy, free of the corruption the collaboration had breed. They wanted the Jesus movement to be different than the Jewish Revolt. Unfortunately, if these writings are taken out of context, they lend themselves to anti-Semitic rhetoric. This was not the intent. Mark wanted to let his followers to know that Jesus, not the leaders of the revolt, was their true messiah. They needed to believe the true gospel, not the fake news. The way of Jesus could lead to life. Mark wanted followers to see the true path. May we see the true path. Love your neighbor.