Friday, July 27, 2012

Chaos in the Temple………..

“Jesus went into the Temple and drove out all those who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the moneychangers and the stools of those who sold pigeons, and said to them, “It is written in the Scriptures that God said,
My Temple will be called a house of prayer.” But you are making it a hideout for thieves!”  Matthew 21:12-13 GNT

The disciples were with Jesus when He decided right before the Passover to go up to Jerusalem for services. They thought they were just going to church, or to the Temple.

When they got to the Temple courtyard, things were just like usual; big crowds, money changers, children running around and merchants selling their wares. There were people talking and joking, children laughing and doves and pigeons fluttering their wings in their cages.  Merchants were shouting trying to be heard above all the noise.  And then………… all of the sudden, Jesus goes off like a madman. He’s overturning tables, driving sheep and cattle and their owners out of the gates, and opening bird cages along the way.

People are running for cover.  Money changers are scrambling for coins that have been spilled all over the place and merchants are grabbing for their merchandise.  There’s a lot of shouting going on.  Some of it by Jesus who cannot believe what they have made out of the Temple.  Instead of a house of God, it has become a religious marketplace.

It all must have been quite a shock to the disciples.  At first, they probably tried to calm Jesus down and then run for cover themselves because the Temple Guard and their Roman overseers would turn up quickly.

It wasn’t what they were expecting, but oftentimes things with Jesus weren’t what they were expecting.  But this had the potential to be big trouble.

In those few minutes of chaos in the Temple Jesus sent a shockwave through the religious system of His day.

What about ours?  How would Jesus respond to the religious systems we have set up in His name?

It may be that Jesus is not looking to come into our churches and set things right. Maybe He is trusting us to do that; trusting us to be willing to challenge the status quo.

Jesus is looking for people who love God and each other, and are trying to figure out how to be the Body of Christ and the Living Presence of Christ in this world.

If people can walk into a church and discover a Jesus who is life and light, I imagine Jesus might just come on in and enjoy Himself.

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