Read: John 2: 13-25
So What’s Right?
Following the wedding banquet, we read in John 2:13-25 which is an illustration of Jesus at the temple courts. This is one of those passages that I often hear twisted to make it easier for us to give into our anger. Basically, it tells us of Jesus storming into the temple courts, tuning over tables, because they turned God’s house into a market. People often look at this passage and see Jesus as impulsive and having a fit of rage, in which case his character contradicts the Bible!
Let’s take a closer look shall we:
In the temple courts he found people selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. So he made a whip out of chords, and drove all from the temple courts, both sheep and cattle, he scattered coins of the money changers and overturned tables.”
John 2: 15 NIV (emphasis added)
Now here is Jesus, upset and hurt because of what was going on in His Father’s home. So He goes and storms in there whipping and turning over tables…Right?
The Bible says, “So, he MADE a whip out of chords”! So, what does this tell us? Did he truly have a fit of rage? How long, exactly, does it take to make a whip of chords anyway? What was he doing as he made that whip? Where was he as he made the whip? I often imagine Jesus sitting under a tree somewhere, making this whip of chords and …PRAYING! I imagine him asking God for His (God’s) perspective. Asking God to help him love these people who are wronging his Father. Asking Him to be able to love them despite of what he has to do.
We as parents understand this. I often have to pray to love my kids despite of how upset I may be with them. I know I must inflict some sort of punishment but I also want to do it with love, whatever that punishment may be. It seems almost natural sometimes for me to deliver it in an angry tone rather than a loving one (that’s how most of us were punished…it just seems right). Jesus shows us here how it needs to be done
The most important lessons I learned in John 2 about building God’s house in my life is, I must obey God, no matter how I feel, with the help of God!
That is the lesson I see highlighted in both of these account of Jesus. I see an emotional Jesus not being mastered by his emotions but giving it to God and doing what pleases God, with a heart that pleases God.
My focus this week is doing exactly that, and you better believe that satan will try his best to trip me up. It sounds like I will be doing a whole lot more praying!!!