Jesus Enters Jerusalem

“My house will be a house of prayer……You have made it a “den of robbers”. Luke Ch 19 v 45-47.

The Mighty Prophet of God, the Spirit of God, the Word of God, Jesus Alihi salatu wa salam, or Nabi Isa Alihi wa Salam rises above the boundaries and borders of humans. Jesus (Alihi Salam, Upon Him be Peace or AS) belongs to all humanity. Muslims have been commanded by God, in the Holy Quran, never to make any distinction between any of the Prophets (alihi Salatu wa salam, Peace Be Upon Them). Prophets were sent with a high Mission to establish the Justice of God on Earth and to correct our thoughts, concepts and morals.

I read the Gospel of Luke last night for the very first time. Movies I saw. Books I read, but reading the Bible was a first. How did I feel? Overwhelmed. I am truly amazed at how much Muslims and Christians have in common with respect to their Scriptures. In my simplistic understanding, Christians are followers of Jesus Christ (AS), and Muslims are followers of Prophet Muhammad (Sallillahu alihi wa alihi wa sallam or Peace Be Upon Him and His Family). It is my firm conviction that all the Prophets of God taught mankind to believe in only ONE GOD and to worship none other than the ONE GOD the Sovereign the Owner of the Universe. In Islam, this concept is known as Tawheed and it is the most important concept in Islam.

I chose to study the Gospel of Luke for a purpose. It seems to me quite strange that the followers of two Mighty Prophets (AS) should be fighting each other in so many different corners of the world. It would have been more justifiable if the Believers had teamed up to defend their communities from the attacks of disbelievers.

I would expect the followers of Muhammad (PBUH) to defend their Christian brothers, also known as the Nasarah or the Helpers in Islamic terminology, wherever they make up a minority position in any Muslim country. Similarly, I would expect the Nasarah to defend their Muslim brothers in Palestine, Yemen, Bangladesh and Kashmir. Unrealistic expectations I suppose. This got me reading up and slowly brought me to Luke.

Luke, chapter 19, verse 45-47, when Jesus (AS) enters the Temple, he does something quite remarkable. He drives the “sellers” out of the temple. Was this a spontaneous act or was it planned? Could it be that Jesus (AS) had identified the “sellers” as corrupt, impure, disbelieving, hypocritical pretenders who had effectively commercialized the faith of Jews and therefore these “robbers” had to be thrown out first.

So he organized his disciples and developed a strategy to rid the temple of the impure “robbers”. The plan worked perfectly. The “sellers” were driven out, the Messiah began his sermons, crowds came to listen to him. He did it, he got the attention of the common people. Jesus (AS) was a fine strategist. Wouldn’t you agree?

Coming back to the 21st century, we have a similar situation, where the wealthy elite “robbers” have commercialized the religious industry, just as they had done 2000 years ago in Jerusalem. They control prices, the production, demand, supply and movement of goods (including currencies) and are able to purchase priestly blessings for their “services” from their Chief Priests.

Common people mostly end up as hostages to the “robbers” also referred to as Capitalists and Monopolists in modern times. A case in point is the forbidden usage of Interest (also called Usury or Riba in Arabic). Why are Christian and Muslim priests silent on the topic of “interest” and money lending business model of Banks? Should they (the priests) not be educating the masses about the evil inherent in the principle of interest on money? Interest is the foundational pillar on which the monopolistic capitalist system stands. Are the Chief Priests in Manhattan and London protecting the “robbers”?

In Islam, it is even more explicitly forbidden in the clear verses of the Holy Quran. Yet we rarely hear the Muslim priests wanting to remove the curse of “riba” (interest) from the banking industry. Is the power of the “robbers’ too great to overcome or is there another transaction “behind the veil’ which we poor people have been blinded from?