My head hurts.
I am sure it’s going to explode.
Lessons learned so far:
- I write too much.
- It’s harder than it looks
- There is a lot to learn
- There isn’t enough time to write down everything I’ve learned
- I am a horrible proof reader (didn’t have time to get this post prof red, sory)
- I should admit defeat and move on but I am not going to.
Time is the killer. I start reading a passage and looking up references and then the next thing I know an hour has passed and I’ve written nothing. Yet I’ve learned vast amounts and have changed my view of the events.
My heart yearns to be able to tell that story right and to get in all the subtleties but it is moving too fast. I can’t take it all in.
On Monday Jesus curses a fig tree and has a temper tantrum in the temple which ends with the chief priests trying to figure a way to kill him. From the description in the book of Mark I’d want to at least give Jesus a time out for not playing nice, but kill him?
In the gospel Jesus chastises the temple by saying, “But you have made it a den of robbers.” Don’t know about you, but ‘den of robbers’ brings up in my mind images of a bad 1950’s movie that might have been titled something like, “Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves” with a bunch of guys with bad tans, bandanas tied on their heads and flying magic carpets against a painted background. In this film Charles Heston plays the good guy with baggy pants and a curved sword and arrives at the last minute, saves the girl and kills all the robbers without spilling a drop of blood. “Den of robbers” is a term we don’t use much but it doesn’t sound nice – possibly worse than the movie that just played in my mind.
If the priests want to kill Jesus because of an insult there must be something more behind the words.
Now it is time to turn to Borg and Crossan.
Well now I get it. According to “The Last Week” the chief priests were really collaborators with the Romans in enforcing a domination system that was oppressing the people. The temple had become an extension of Roman domination and had stopped playing it’s traditional role of caring for the sick, poor, widows and orphans. It in fact was helping to collect the taxes that were sent to Rome in tribute. The temple had lost all of their traditional roles. Religion and charity and had become a tool to rob the Jewish people of their land and wealth and to ensure that the people compiled with Roman rule.
More about this in my next post.