Should members of the LSU Board of Supervisors disclose who receives their scholarships?|
Story Archives: More to story than temper tantrum
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|More to story than temper tantrum|
In the second chapter of the Gospel according to John we find an unusual busyness at the temple. Everyone is preparing for Passover, which means the head of every household is required to present a sacrificial lamb on behalf of the family. The rules are very specific and no one is exempt; each family is required to make at least a sin offering and a peace offering. The scene is filled with merchants, money-changers, animals, inspectors and tourist. Needless to say it is a hectic time.
It would appear that more and more Jews have moved from Jerusalem, which means that more and more Jews are now traveling back to Jerusalem for Passover. For the sake of convenience, it had become customary to purchase the animals for sacrifice upon arriving in Jerusalem. Therefore, the merchants in this story are simply providing a much-needed service. Let's not forget the temple tax. Because all foreign currency is considered unclean, the money changers help ensure the appropriate currency is available. Maybe the charge of one-day's wages is a bit steep, but nonetheless, the money-changers also provide the traveler with a handy service. The animals must be inspected to ensure they meet the "sacrificial requirements." Thankfully, there are animal-inspectors on hand.
We are quite accustomed to "Supply and Demand." Resorts have value seasons and peak seasons. Travel arrangements seem to be cheaper during the week than on the weekends. While we may not agree with what is taking place in this Biblical account, we can certainly understand it.
For the full column, see Page 5A of this week's Citizen.
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Jo Ann Cooper is a United Methodist pastor of the LA Conference.