I normally don’t go to political sites and find articles which have a good grasp of Christianity or Christian history, but this weekend I read an excellent historical analysis of Jesus’ impact on the world, and the radical change he introduced.
And so when the people came to Jerusalem to make their offerings to God, they were met at each step in the process of religious devotion with another checkpoint at which tolls were extracted. The journey to Jerusalem often meant crossing a Roman checkpoint â€” ka-ching! Since the trip was long and hard on the animals, it was better to travel light and buy the sacrifices in Jerusalem â€” ka-ching! You canâ€™t use pagan Roman coins for that sort of thing, of course, so off to the money-changers â€” ka-ching again. Tithes, offerings, sacrifices, festivals, Rome got her cut â€” ka-ching, ka-ching, ka-ching, ka-ching, ka-ching. In fact, thatâ€™s the only reason there even was a temple or a King Herod. Rome would have long ago plundered it and killed him, except you donâ€™t kill the goose that lays the golden eggs.
If the temple was the bridge between heaven and earth, Herod was the troll who lived under the bridge. Every pilgrim was forced to pay the toll. Thatâ€™s what kept Herod in power: no ka-ching, no king. Ordinary Jews hated the regime, and the anger was boiling over, but Herod didnâ€™t care what they thought; he had Rome on his side.
You can read the whole thing here.