“Now, consider the rising tensions in the Gospel of Matthew leading to Jesus’ exchange with the Temple leadership this morning. At the outset of this chapter, Jesus enters Jerusalem with his followers shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” while “the whole city was in turmoil, asking, ‘Who is this?’” Jesus then enters the Temple, where the sacrificial system, blessed by the Temple’s leadership, had begun selling a blind eye rather than nurturing righteousness. To press this point, Jesus hits the system in its pocketbooks. He “[drives] out all who were selling and buying…and he [overturns] the tables of the moneychangers and the seats of those who sold doves, [saying to those he confronted], ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer, but you are making it a den of robbers.”’
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