Tuesday, March 6, 2012

When God Overturns John 2:13-22

Jesus stepped into the temple and he didn't like what he saw (John 2:13-14). Rather than walking away he introduced himself.  He wove together cords into a whip to clear things up. He poured out the money changer's coins and tossed over their tables. He drove animals and animal sellers out of the temple court.(John 2:15).

Why? New life starts and Jesus turns things over: the temple, sin, death, and the work of the evil one: Jesus came to turn it all over.  Like a gardener with a spade or a roto-tiller Jesus turns everything. Overturning is key to a new beginning.  Jesus came not to leave us in sin but to turn us away from sin lifting us up out of ourselves. John 2:17 remembers Psalm 69:9 as a prophesy about a heart zealous for the temple.

Does this image of Jesus, strong and independent, shock you? Jesus was so passionate he drove people from the temple. He wanted worship on different terms: Jesus wants change in us and it begins with Him.  People in the temple wanted a miracle as evidence He had a right to speak and act boldly.  Jesus answered them crypticly, “Destroy this temple, and I will build it again in three days.” (John 2:18-19 NCV) Later on Jesus followers understood what he meant. He was talking about his own destruction and resurrection (John 2:20-22).

Jesus' strength:
We sinners think the world is about us.  Jesus teaches something different.  He wants things to change starting with worship.  More than ritual action He wants hearts.  Put away idols, lesser gods like money, power, toys, sex, and come worship with your whole being.

Many mistakenly view Jesus as weak, unable to make change happen: there are at least two views of Jesus as weak.
  • some believe Jesus is weak and zealously rush to help Him.  In confusion they presume Jesus can't act as Son of God without their help. Fyodor Dostoyevsky explored the logical end of such confusion in a novella called The Grand Inquisitor.  It's worth a read.
  • sinners who've grown comfortable assume Jesus is weak and blind loving and accepting all in apathy.  But meeting the real Jesus, who turns things over, challenges us to leave our sins behind.  The difference here is between a God who loves you too much to leave you in sin and a lesser god who tolerates you. A God who loves you will lead you to change.
Jesus, John 2 reveals, is bold, zealous, and full of compassion: this is Jesus true character. Jesus gave both love and forgiveness at a great cost accepting sinners.  He welcomes us not to continue in the way of destruction but in order for us to begin new lives. 

May God help us hold Jesus up high that the world may see both his passion to turn things over and his compassion for all. Pax, John

1 comment:

Tmiester said...

Thanks John