Murals (2008) by PHANTAST - Graffiti - Cultural Music & Art Association inc. - 98 Milne St. Benleigh

Scan 131130005palm_sunHERE COMES THE KING (Matthew 21:9).

The act of riding on the donkey was a symbolic prophetic gesture. Jesus is the true Mesianic prophet-king, whom Israel has been awaiting for so long. He comes to conque Jeruselem, but not by military force hence He rides in humbly on a donkey, the symbol of peace.  Jesus receives a hero's welcome as enthusiastic crowds spread His path with a carpet of cloaks and branches. He is greeted with the Mesianic title Son of David and with words from Psalm 118, Blessing on Him who comes in the name of the Lord!.

Mattlew sees Jesus' expulsion of the dealers as changing of the old order, as a judgment on Judaism. The Temple authorities are using religion for their own material gain; the house of prayer has been turned into a robber's den. Pilgrims had to change their money into the coinage of Tyre, the only one allowed in the inner court of the Temple. Animals needed for sacrifice had to be purchased at the Temple. These businesses were probably controlled by the priestly aristocracy, who profited by all the sales.

Matthew, taking into account the distruction of the Temple which occured A.D. 70, is conscious of the Church as the New Temple. The Old Testament (2 Sam 5:6) barred the deformed and handicapped from the Temple but Jesus sets this aside. He welcomes the blind and the lame and cures them. The robbers' den has been replaced by the Church which is to be a house of prayer where even children shout Hossana to the Son of David and where the outcasts are welcomed and  the ills of  mankind can be healed. The truth of Jesus' Messiahship is proclaimed in the Temple itself but the Jewish leaders refuse to hear and try to silence the children's praise. Jesus replies to their objections in the style of a rabbinic debate : "Have you never read..." which really meant "Have you never understood this scripture correctly?" These men so proud of their knowledge of the Scriptures and so ready to interpret them to others, are blind to the  fact that these Scriptures are being fulfilled by Jesus before their very eyes. (Fr. John Kelly)

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