The Temple Incident
August 21st, 2001
Received by H.
[In the morning, I felt a lot of insecurity. I was concerned, because I didn’t want to commit errors, like for example to imagine things and to affirm that they are messages from the beyond. This would be something horrible. I tried to contact my guide, but I didn’t succeed, or rather, I achieved it halfway. Among a chaos of thoughts, I could distinguish the following idea:
that I would not receive messages from many different spirits, but rather that Judas would take care of the communication. I was not Padgett, and he received messages from very diverse spirits, only to obtain this “cloud of witnesses.” But that was no longer necessary now.
Another thing which happened was that I saw a short “movie,” very clear, as of a person walking along a forest path, I mean, I saw the scene through the eyes of the person who was walking. It was an earth path, of reddish, humid earth, like after a light rainfall. The whole image was of a reddish tonality, perhaps also due to the color of the leaves, like an autumn impression. It was so clear and sharp that, when I opened my eyes, the image continued! It didn’t last long, perhaps 15 or 30 seconds.
I could not start a conversation.
Finally, in the afternoon I was able to connect myself.]
Hello, my brother. In the morning you were too confused. That is not good for our communication. Besides, intentionally I didn’t connect to you in order to converse. You believed that you could begin a conversation with yourself, pretending that I was there, to explain in this way these experiences that you find strange. But it is not so, and it doesn’t work this way. It is real. Calm down.
And the “movie,” as you call it, was real, too. It was a scene that I remembered of my life on earth, something very simple, but you received it well. This way we may add a little bit more of information and color to our conversations, what do you think?
You were thinking of your brothers, and one of them is here. He wants to speak with you.
[I saw my brother Herbert, with a sad and serious face. Herbert speaking:]
Ah, yes, the glasses. I don’t need them, but I show myself this way, because this is how you know me. So our conversation will be easier.
No, I don’t feel very happy. I am OK, but I still lack so much. It is not what I would call heaven here. You know that I was an atheist, and all this, well, it is very difficult to digest for me. They tell me that I am already on a good track, but there is still so much missing...
Karl [my other brother] seems to be better off. He is not more advanced than I am, but he is satisfied more easily. You know that he was always a little bit superficial. It is easy for him to find distractions and so to spend his days. I, for my part, don’t become satisfied so easily.
Yes, when you come over, we’ll spend a lot of time together. I may teach you a lot, and you may teach me. We will be a good team, we’ve always been.
Well, I think I have to say goodbye. Now you know how we are here. Yes, I spend a lot of time with you. We’ll meet again soon. Good-bye.
Well, my brother. You want to know more about the New Testament. Why don’t we start now? Let us choose an easy topic, to begin with, the incident in the Temple of Jerusalem. You already know a lot about that. Do you agree?
As the New Testament relates, a few days prior to his death, Jesus visited the Temple. Here you should write down what you know about the sales of animals and the trade in general in the Temple, OK?
[H.: The so-called “House of Annas” was the owner of a great part of the sales stands for animals, of money-changers’ business, etc. The sales frequently occurred at exorbitant prices, sucking the last copper coin from the worshippers, especially from the poor and naive peasants. The House of Annas had converted religion into big business, lacking spirituality, but they called themselves “the spiritual leaders of Israel.”
The Sadducee High-Priest Yosef Kayafa, Annas’ son-in-law, who had been High-Priest previously, transferred the selling of animals from the markets on the mount of Olives to the court of the Gentiles, a recent innovation to guarantee a temple monopoly on animals offered for sacrifice, over Pharisaic objections. One may even consult the Mishnah’s story of R. Gamaliel’s later drastic action against overcharging for sacrificial animals.
Inside the Temple walls, there opened a great columned hall or portico, facing the north side, like a cloister. The hall’s size was impressive, and so it was called the Royal Portico. Four rows of pillars divided it into three long aisles. Each pillar was 27 feet high and so thick that three men standing with arms stretched out could just encircle it. The tops of the pillars were carved with rows of leaves and the ceiling with leaves and flowers.
It was in this splendid portico, where the money-changers’ tables stood, and the traders had stalls and cages to sell animals and birds for sacrifice.
Every Jew was expected to pay a tax to the Temple each year. The amount was set at half a shekel of silver, the amount laid down in the Law of Moses for the atonement of every Israelite, in Exodus 30:11-16. In the first century half a shekel was reckoned the equivalent of two Greek drachmas or two Roman denarii. A laborer could earn that amount in two days.
The priests decreed that payment should be made in coins of the purest silver. Only one sort was acceptable, the silver coins of the city of Tyre.
Many of the traders charged very high prices, taking shameless advantage of the pilgrims who came from the countryside and from foreign lands. The traders had to pay for permission to have their stalls in this area, and they had to pay the leading priests.
Later Jewish tradition even remembered one place as “the Bazaars of the sons of Annas.” Again, you find here the reference to the abuses of the “House of Annas.”
It can be estimated that the amount taken to the Temple each year was about half a million shekels. The Tyrean shekel was worth four denarii, so the annual income of the Temple would be equivalent to wages for two million man-days of work, or 5480 man-years of work, on a basis of 7 working days per week.
Let’s say the average yearly income of a North American today would be 30.000 dollars. Then you could calculate the Temple income almost as 170 million dollars. And a good part of this constituted personal revenue for Annas and his friends. The Temple was not the spiritual center any more, it had become big business!]
Very well, this was the situation. Jesus entered with us, and stayed silent for a while, observing the chaos, the noise, animals bellowing, people screaming, clients haggling with dealers, humble people with scared looks, a tremendous tumult. And then he took the word, hollering to dominate the commotion with his voice. And suddenly, it was all silence. Those were the famous words: “It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.” Jesus didn’t mince matters, he uttered openly what he thought and felt. And what had to happen happened. People got angry. A great uproar arose. Everybody knew that Jesus was right, and they let off their steam over the salesmen. Jesus didn’t incite that incident, but his words certainly unchained the feelings, which until then had been restrained in the people’s hearts.
The House of Annas had Jesus watched very closely over a long period, provoking him, but they could not find any pretext to put him into jail. But this was too much! This meant his definite death sentence, no matter how they could arrange it.
Why did he do this? Well, there comes the moment in each one’s life, when one must find hard words, when one must pronounce himself clearly, with all severity, in order to be true to himself and true to God. Jesus knew the risk, but he was not afraid. It was the maximum Jewish authority pretending to spiritually guide the Jewish people. How could he have disregarded what was happening before his eyes? No, he did the correct thing, but he had to suffer the consequences.
No, they did not put him in jail. No, they did not do anything, for the moment. There was no pretext under which it would have been possible to arrest him. He had not uttered anything but the truth. He had not participated in the riot. We could leave the Temple area without problems.
Yes, that incident also contributed to my decision of betraying him. In fact, I loved him very much. But for me, he didn’t behave correctly. Jesus had power, I had seen it, a lot of power! He could mobilize people, he had all the potential for changing things, but he didn’t do it.
Then, what I did was to force him into a situation where he had to demonstrate his power, putting an end to the supreme priest’s henchmen, to show his antagonism openly to the Temple hierarchy and to launch a rebellion. Yes, these are political, revolutionary ideas, but politics and religion then were one and the same thing, there was not a separation between them, that is a modern idea. I failed, I didn’t understand him. And you know the rest of the story.
Barabbas? Yes, this is a story, which has caused quite some confusion. In that time, there was really a prisoner with the name of Jesus and the nickname Barabbas, which that means “the father’s son” in Aramaic. There was no offer from Pilate to set him free, because Barabbas was a thief, or rather, a “lestes,” as they expressed it in Greek. The lestes were thieves, revolutionaries, highwaymen, guerilla fighters, in short, a class of people which the Romans considered subversive elements. Barabbas was one of those revolutionaries, and Pilate could never have released him. He would have risked his own neck, high treason against Rome, I think you understand.
Well, when the gospels were formed, this knowledge of Barabbas being in prison was kept alive, because people spun legends of those heroes or supposed heroes, like in the case of Robin Hood in England or of Schinderhannes in Germany. And when tensions between Jews and Christians grew, the editors of the gospels used Barabbas’ figure to demonstrate that the Jews rejected Jesus’ peaceful salvation, and they opted for violence, sacrificing God’s Own Son. In some old manuscripts we can read the complete name, Jesus Barabbas, but then the name Jesus was erased, because an evil thief could not bear the same name as the Savior. You know this already. And also that Jesus was a very common name. You have also read that this fact gave rise to the erroneous conclusion that Jesus from Nazareth and Jesus Barabbas were one and the same person, that means that Jesus was a revolutionary, and later on, his character was transformed into that of a peaceful preacher or into that of the Son of God.
I think we have already talked much about the subject, and you have known much about it already, but some things have been new for you.
Its time to say good-bye. We’ll meet soon again, and God bless you,
Your brother in Christ,
© Copyright is asserted in this message by Geoff Cutler 2013