Mark 11:15

They came to Jerusalem. Jesus went into the Temple Courts, and began to drive out those who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers, and the seats of the pigeon-dealers,


still a-hungering
an exorcism
is all that rises
to every occasion
in need of mercy
healing

oh we say first
no harm
but seeking all the harm
already done and done again
options become limited
to never again

into which our best cure
sets a next stage
for harm’s never-ending variety
to adjust its baseline
and bloom with a vengeance

a push here
a shove there
an expletive undeleted
scatters doves
as well as coins
hunger happens


Still hungering, Jesus comes to the Temple looking for sustenance. While the fig tree bore no fruit to sustain, the Temple is bearing bad fruit. This is just as problematic, if not more so. Here one gets empty calories while believing that such nutrition will see them through. It doesn’t.

The verbal-curse at the fig tree is here turned into an action-curse. This is not just a rotational issue of seasons, which might be excused, but an intentional selling of a patent medicine based on the patter of the seller and need or gullibility of the buyer, not the worth of the potion itself.

Sabin-2101 is clear that, “these actions must be understood in the context of … prophetic traditions.”

The confrontation is in line with the prophetic intention to purify the Temple from commercialization that ultimately runs counter to a Jubilee reset of generations of economic inequity. Sacrifices with a financial component, such as the selling of indulgences or promises of prosperity, can be traced back to Samuel’s sons, Abraham gifts to Melchizedek and the offerings of Cain and Abel.

The particular of doves is about the “sacrifices” of the poor—the sacrifice needed for the “purification” of women and the certification of a leper’s cleanliness. Jesus overturns “the stations used to make a profit off those condemned to second-class citizenship.” [Myers147]

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