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We arrived in Jerusalem late on Friday, thankfully in time for the Sabbath. It was good to see Zebedee’s brother and his family, I only wish the boys were with us. It’s not the same without James and John around. I did hear from John before we left Galilee and he assured me that they’d be in Jerusalem for the Passover.
“We’ll be there mother.” He’d said, “Where else would we be for the feast?” I assume he’ll spend most of his time with the Teacher Jesus and his followers. I only hope they will stop in to see us too.
My goodness what an amazing event I witnessed today! My sister-in-law went with me to the market this morning to buy the herbs we will need for the Passover meal, and there was a great commotion at the city gate. We learned that a king was entering the city. Naturally we didn’t want to miss that, so we joined the crowd lining the street.
People were waving palm branches and singing, and we had to strain to see the procession. It wasn’t until his donkey passed close by us that we realized the king we were welcoming was Jesus! What an exciting moment! We have all considered the possibility that this man would become a great ruler in Israel and restore our kingdom to us. Could it be happening now, before our very eyes?
Our household is abuzz with speculation tonight. I have never seen Zebedee so animated! Wouldn’t it be thrilling for our sons to hold places of honor and importance in Jesus new kingdom?
How the mood has changed in our house this day. We were excited beyond imagining yesterday, but today we are thoughtful and quiet, even a little confused. Not knowing how the events of yesterday would unfold, Zebedee and I got up early to go to the Temple to buy our Passover lamb.
I have never liked that part of the preparations. The Temple is always so crowded at this time of year. Everyone is short-tempered and impatient, and the vendors who come to sell animals for sacrifice are so rude and greedy! Why do people behave so?
We’d been standing in line for hours when we realized Jesus was coming. We knew it was him before we saw him – the excited chatter and the people jostling to find a place with a view – all alerted us to the obvious. A sense of anticipation filled me. I wondered, would he speak from the steps of the Temple, calling his faithful followers to fight at his side? I felt I was going to see history unfold before my eyes!
Then as Jesus entered the Temple courts, and the crowd gave way in front of him, he stopped. Moments before, I’d seen him smiling, clasping hands, and greeting people, but suddenly the kind, cheerful expression had vanished from his face. As he looked around the courts, I saw his hands at his side ball up into tight fists. His eyes narrowed a bit, and his jaw seemed to clench. The crowd had gone silent under the intensity of his gaze.
Without warning, Jesus reached to grasp the table in front of him where a moneychanger sat, and he toppled the table! Money scattered in all directions! Then he stormed over to the next table and the next one, and he did the same! Birds flew into the air as their cages crashed to the ground. Startled animals tried desperately to run, and angry merchants shouted curses as they hurried to retrieve their coins.
The scene was frightening and chaotic. Then I heard Jesus speak with a clear, loud voice, “It is written,” the crowd hushed, “My house shall be a house of prayer, but you have made it a den of robbers!”
A group of Pharisees standing near us were outraged. They yelled at Jesus with balled fists and scarlet faces. They told him he had no right to do such things. They left quickly though, murmuring angrily to one another.
“One thing is for certain,” my husband said to me as the crowd dispersed. “We will never be able to predict what that man will do next.”
“I wonder what tomorrow will bring.” I said anxiously.
“Only God knows, my dear.” He said taking my hand. “But I have a feeling this will be a Passover we won’t soon forget.”
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Lynne, I can't tell you what a wonderful story this is - it so moved me. I was able through your words to be in a time and place in history that was a turning point for Christians throughout the centuries. Your talent for bringing life out of scripture is amazing and God-spirited. May He continue to bless your writing as it blesses those of us privileged to read it, and honors your Father. Yours in the name of Christ, Karen