NAHAN THE PRIEST
33 AD – Enter the King – Kidron Valley, Judea
Jesus and his entourage were still some distance away but slowly getting closer. And he could now make out what the people were calling out to him as being the Messiah.
Below the platform where he stood were a group of minor officials of the Sanhedrin. They, being Pharisees, were grumbling obviously because of the ‘Son of David’ reference. They being strict obedients to Jewish laws and traditions were appalled to the idea that this man from the northern provinces where they believe Jews were culturally contaminated by strong gentile influences can ever be the chosen Messiah. Their idea of a Messiah is a Joshua, who conquered the Canaanites … a Samson who was endowed with supernatural strength… a wise and successful Solomon… a strong and feared David… all in one. But then, what Nahan found amusing was that even with the Pharisees who considered themselves holier than most, they forget about the humbling beginnings of David being a lowly shepherd boy. Then, there is Solomon’s heritage of being the product of the heinous act of his father, David, who murdered his mother’s first husband to get her. As to Samson, he was a common womanizer.
The parade was closer. Jesus was smiling, waving to the people and shaking the hands of those that came near. Young people and children ran before him yelling in loud voices, ‘Hosanna! Hosanna to the Son of David; Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest!’ [Matthew 21:9]
Their shouts echoed off the cliff walls of the Temple Mount. Nahan again looked up at the battlements and could clearly see a lot faces were looking down. He could just imagine the High Priest peering down and seething under him turban.
Some of the Pharisees tried to unsuccessfully quiet those shouting out their praise. One of them went to Jesus, finally pleaded with Jesus saying, “Teacher, rebuke them.”
But Jesus joyously laughed and said, “I tell you, if these become silent, the very stones on the ground will cry out!” [Luke 19:40]
Nahan hastily clambered down from the guard’s platform as Jesus and the crowd of people crossed the bridge. He pushed his way closer to them. When they reached the East entryway gate, Jesus got off the animals and entered followed by his disciples and the crowd. It was about sixty feet from the entry gate, up several flights of stairs, to another gate through Solomon’s columns onto the temple courts.
The court was cluttered with traders’ stall and money changers. He observed Jesus pulling up his sleeves and picking a coil of rope. He approached the nearest money changer’s table and started to tip it over. Coins scattered everywhere and the money-changer screeching like an old woman scrambled after them. He went next to a peddler of birds and tore into the soft baskets releasing the birds that took flight. He turned over more tables then turned his attention on breaking the pens that held the animals and using the cord of rope like a whip drove them and the corrupt merchants away.
“It is written… My House shall be a House of Prayer,’ but you have made it a Den of Thieves.”
From the colonnade’s vantage point which was slightly elevated, he saw, as expected, a squad of Temple guards dispatched to arrest Jesus but were thwarted by an excited and ever so growing crowds that surrounded Jesus hailing him the son of David. As the dust settled, Jesus went back up the steps of the colonnade and sat down to teach the people.
When Nahan entered his office, he thought to himself that this will be an interesting week.
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