Holy Fire – a reflection on Jesus’ clearing the Temple, John 2:12-25

He came in like Holy Fire.

I had been feeling unhappy and anxious, not having enough for the prices they were asking for the sacrifice.  These sellers stood between me and worship like tyrants.  It was impassable.  This crushing weight of human locusts buzzing at us, attaching to anyone who could be preyed upon.  And the noise!  In this Holy Place, chaos.  

The frenzied shouting filled even my nostrils so I couldn’t breathe.  Surely I could die standing so close to Holiness not able to reach it.

And then He came.  He came in like Holy Fire. His anger was incandescent.  Heat coursed through me, not from shame but like a purifying fire lifting everything filthy two feet away.

This happened to everyone — and I saw the scene for what it really was.  The savagery around me right here where I stood with my 50 cents of nothing.  

His fire had exposed the demons: suspending them in air two feet away from every human being.  I saw real locusts, and with them snakes and buzzards, flies, parasites of every kind that had been feasting, tearing, gouging, cawing, pecking orgy-like on human flesh.  All around me.  

It was a vision of hell.

And just as I would scream, Jesus lunged. He took cords and fashioned a whip.  His fury separated light from darkness and now with whip in hand, this God-source of avenging fire wrought vengeance that sucked the oxygen from my lungs.

With each blow the demons fizzed and popped. THWACK! went the whip. THWACK! kakakakkakakakaka. The demons leapt. THWACK THWACK! chkassssssssssssss.  They expired into nothing in front of my eyes. Eviscerated.

Jesus’ paused for breath and His fury cut the air:

There was silence.  The people stood in shock.  

Then a snake came out of a seller’s mouth and spoke: “What miraculous sss-sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this?”
Jesus didn’t look at us, He addressed the snake: “Destroy this Temple and I will raise it again in three days.”

A warning?

The snake retreated down the man’s gullet.  The man swallowed, then he and his companions began to splutter: “How can you do this! Who are you!” But their voices sounded like sand and Jesus turned away from their choking.

He passed by me. “Be clean,” He said.

In the clean air, I found a peasant merchant outside the courts who took my 50 cents for a dove.  A reasonable price.  I returned to the Temple.

And walked straight into worship.


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