3. Jesus Drives Out the Money Changers (from The Passion of Christ: A Gay Vision) by Douglas Blanchard
“It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you make it a den of robbers.” -- Matthew 21:13 (RSV)
Jesus acted up when he saw something wrong. Nothing made him angrier than religious hypocrisy blocking the way to God. He got mad when religious leaders made people pay to attend worship. He said, you can’t buy your way to heaven! Everyone gets God for free. Don’t trick a poor widow into giving her last penny! The sacrifice that pleases God is to do justice and love people. Oh sure, you can raise tons of money by claiming that some other group is an unholy threat: lepers, immigrants, queer. But remember, whatever you do to the least of these, you do to me! Stop demonizing people! You call gays an abomination, but your fundraising tactics are the real abomination! Hypocrites! You’re like fancy tombs, pretty on the outside, but full of death on the inside. Then he turned over the tables where the men in suits made their unholy profits. Coins went flying as he drove them out.
Jesus, thank you for your anger. Give me the courage to act up against injustice.
Next: 4. Jesus Preaches in the Temple
Matthew 23: Jesus on hypocrites
Isaiah 58: “the fast I choose”
Perfect Enemies: The Religious Right, the Gay Movement, and the Politics of the 1990s by John Gallagher and Chris Bull (Washington Post}
This is part of a series based on “The Passion of Christ: A Gay Vision,” a set of 24 paintings by Douglas Blanchard, with text by Kittredge Cherry. For the whole series, click here.
Scripture quotation is from Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.