Black Jesus and the Moneychangers
12 Then Jesus went into the temple and threw out all those who were selling and buying there. He pushed over the tables used for currency exchange and the chairs of those who sold doves. 13 He said to them, “It’s written, My house will be called a house of prayer. But you’ve made it a hideout for crooks.”
14 He found in the temple those who were selling cattle, sheep, and doves, as well as those involved in exchanging currency sitting there. 15 He made a whip from ropes and chased them all out of the temple, including the cattle and the sheep. He scattered the coins and overturned the tables of those who exchanged currency. 16 He said to the dove sellers, “Get these things out of here! Don’t make my Father’s house a place of business.” 17 His disciples remembered that it is written, Passion for your house consumes me.[a]
A little context is usually a good idea.
Jesus and his disciples were amongst the many thousands of pilgrims that came to Jerusalem from all over the world for Passover. The pilgrims had to exchange their currency to pay the required annual temple tax of a half shekel. Only Tyrian shekels were accepted by the Temple officials because they contained more silver than other coins. Conveniently enough, the moneychangers were there to provide that service -- with a fee that was shared with the Temple priest. No need to search for animals to make the required sacrifices in the Temple. Merchants were there to sell them to the highest bidder. These exchanges turned the Temple into a bustling market, of sorts -- not the holy sacred place that God intended. Needless to say, Jesus was pissed.
Well, I suppose a handmade whip is one way to clear the decks. Interesting that this happened right after Palm Sunday, on the last week of Jesus' life on earth.
Today's Bonus: the Good Times' Black Jesus episode!
Here's some good news: Aaron McGruder is bringing Black Jesus to Adult Swim this year -- featuring Charlie Murphy, Corey Holcomb and yes, John Witherspoon. I wonder what Fox News' Megyn "Jesus is white" Kelly will have to say about it.
Speaking of Megyn "...and Santa is white, too" Kelly, I leave you with a panel discussion that includes Tim Wise. It's so much fun to watch him go off, in part because the white people aren't expecting him to sound like a black Baptist preacher.