Cleansing the Temple

There is a lot of emotion in this famous work of art, below.  Based on the Gospel Reading from John 2 for this coming Sunday, March 11, the third Sunday in Lent, we are faced with the reality of Jesus’ emotions–and his actions.  After reading the hyperlink [above] to Scripture, click on the artwork [below] to enlarge it.

What do you see in this painting?

What is the emotional state of the aggressor?  Who is it?  What is he feeling?  Righteous indignation?  Anger?  Hate?  Something else?  And how does that make you feel?

And for the cowering group of victims:  Who are they?  Are they surprised?  Annoyed?  Scrambling for coins?  Where will they go now?

If Rembrandt had widened the orientation of his painting a bit–that we might see to the sides, the entire panorama of the temple–what expressions and activities would be happening there?

Righteous Lord, emotions are powerful, especially when they lead to action.  That we might look to you to understand our emotions, and therefore our actions and reactions:  hear our prayer.  Amen.

REMBRANDT Christ Driving the Money-Changers from the Temple c.1626 Pushkin Museum, Moscow





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