Cleaning Crew

“Holy… well. Just holy. What happened here?”

“Some Galilean.”

“Just one Galilean made this mess?”

“Hard to believe, but yeah.”

“Wow. There’s dove feathers everywhere.”

“Not to mention… Well. Let’s just say that frightened sheep are clear about being upset.”

“Oh, my, you’re right there.”


“One Galilean? You’re sure?”

“Yep. I was here. One minute everything is normal, the next minute somebody’s yelling. Then there’s cattle lowing everywhere, and sheep slipping in dung, and doves scattering feathers around.”


“Then there’s tables flying. He had these braided cords in his hand. Nobody was quite willing to challenge him.”

“C’mon! What about the Temple guards?”

“They were just too stunned to do anything. By the time any of them got moving, it was over.”

“What was it all about, do you think?”

“I can’t be sure. He was yelling something about turning his father’s house into a marketplace.”

“Seriously? Where has he been? It’s been like this since, well, forever.”

“He’s been in Galilee, I suppose.”

“Talk about out of touch.”

“Yeah. Well. It’s over now. Let’s get this mess cleaned up. Help me pick up these tables.”

“Aren’t these the money changers’ tables?”

“He knocked them over, too.”

“So… Is there anything left to pick up?”

“What do you think?”

“I think the money changers picked up every last coin before they ran.”

“You think right.”

“Oh, well. I’ll get this end.”

“I’ve got this end. Now: Heave!”

The image is Christ Chasing the Merchants from the Temple by Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione (ca. 1645-1655) – — Réunion des musées nationaux/JACONDE, Public Domain,

4 thoughts on “Cleaning Crew

  1. This is wonderful!! Two person dialogue in church??

    I did have an awful (for my perspective) thought that this may have been what the Jan 6 Capitol rioters thought they were doing.

  2. Been reading a lot online about this week and weather Jesus did this at the beginning or the end. My seminary teaching, albeit 30+ years ago says the end, in part because it could lead to crucifixion for whoever disturbed the political/theological status quo. But recently, it was floated that Jesus may have done this *every.time*.he.entered.a.temple or synagogue. I wonder who might be closer to the truth

    • I saw that suggestion in Maren Tirabassi’s poem – – and that is lingering in the back of my mind in writing this week.

      As far as history goes, I suspect that John is right that Jesus made an annual journey to Jerusalem for Passover. It just seems in character. Did he flip tables every visit? Not according to the evangelists. That suggests that the Synoptics are right about the chronology, or that Jesus had made prompted a change in practice (does the mild response of the authorities in John imply their tacit approval?), or more likely that the evangelists’ theological purposes were served by telling the story only in one place in their narratives.

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