Today's Gospel in Art - Jesus cleanses the Temple

Jesus Driving the Merchants from the Temple, by Jacob Jordaens  1640, © Louvre, Paris

Jesus Driving the Merchants from the Temple, by Jacob Jordaens 1640, © Louvre, Paris

Gospel of 9th November 2019 0 John 2: 13-22

Just before the Jewish Passover Jesus went up to Jerusalem, and in the Temple he found people selling cattle and sheep and pigeons, and the money changers sitting at their counters there. Making a whip out of some cord, he drove them all out of the Temple, cattle and sheep as well, scattered the money changers' coins, knocked their tables over and said to the pigeon-sellers, 'Take all this out of here and stop turning my Father's house into a market.' Then his disciples remembered the words of scripture: Zeal for your house will devour me. The Jews intervened and said, 'What sign can you show us to justify what you have done?' Jesus answered, 'Destroy this sanctuary, and in three days I will raise it up.' The Jews replied, 'It has taken forty-six years to build this sanctuary: are you going to raise it up in three days?' But he was speaking of the sanctuary that was his body, and when Jesus rose from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they believed the scripture and the words he had said.

Reflection on the Painting

Today we look at Jacob Jordaens' masterpiece Christ driving the merchants from the Temple. It is a monumental oil on canvas, of nearly three meters in height, kept in the collections of the Louvre Museum in Paris. This chaotic and yet very carefully arranged composition was acquired by King Louis XV of France, as he loved its dramatic, Baroque and stage-like appeal.

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Tags: Christian Art Today, Patrick van der Vorst, Jacob Jordaens

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