Cleansing the Temple–and Our Bodies and Minds–of Idols

Bondings 2.0

On the Sundays of Lent, Bondings 2.0 will feature reflections by New Ways Ministry staff members. The liturgical readings for the Third Sunday of Lent are: Exodus 20: 1-17; Psalm 19: 8-11; 1 Corinthians 1: 22-25; John 2: 13-25. You can access the texts of these readings by clicking here.

Today’s Gospel reading is sometimes referred to as the “Cleansing of the Temple” and is an episode recorded by all four Gospel writers.  John the Evangelist says that Jesus “made a whip out of cords” and drove the money changers and animals out of the temple area.  I imagine Jesus might have shocked his friends and followers by acting in such a forceful way.  At the very least, his words and actions never fail to discomfort me.

Jesus is obviously upset by what he sees, but why?  Explanations are many and varied.  Some commentators suggest he was upset by the…

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