Tasters from the King's Table.

Don't Touch the Doves

Corruption had reached the sacred place itself. The merchants and money changers had stained the atrium of God-the same who had so desired the psalmist's soul.

For that reason, the day when the Lord ascended to the temple, he left aside his normal moderation. When finding that they sold cattle, sheep and doves, and that the money changers were seated doing their business, he made a whip of cords, and drove them all out of the temple, both sheep and oxen alike; scattered the coins of the money changers, and overturned their tables. His anger was poured out. Those who many times had raised their voice to resist him, this time could not even open their mouth; such was the force of His furor. Can you imagine that terrible whirlwind?

However, the Lord even shows His beauty here. His wrath was not an uncontrollable river, nor did He whip indiscriminately to His right and left. The sacred account carefully points out that he didn't touch the doves. Matthew and Mark say: "He overturned the tables of the money changers, and the benches of those selling doves"; while John says: "To those who sold doves he said: Get these out of here." Notice that He only overturned the benches of those that sold them and ordered that they be removed from there, but he didn't touch the doves.

Why? There are at least two reasons. The doves were, in their simplicity and economy, the poor person's offering, who couldn't pay for a lamb or a calf. How many wounded consciences were soothed by that modest bloody offering! Without a doubt, most of them. But also, and above all, the Lord didn't want to touch the doves because God had chosen a dove to represent the Holy Spirit, in its descent on the Lord Jesus during His baptism. A small bird representing God Himself!

Therefore we understand, and we exclaim: Oh, wonderful Jesus; wonderful, not only in His compassion, or in His majesty, but also in His wrath. How different from the men whose anger is an out-of control gale; hurting and destroying. We bow before His delicacy, before His self-control, before His purity.

May the Lord allow His servants to express this beauty of His wonderful character as well.

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