What is your image of Jesus? Is he timid, or tough? Some think of him as all meek and mild. Others look at controlling churches and imagine Jesus must have been a controlling bossy leader.
Unlike any other earthly leader or prophet, Jesus didn’t lift a finger or sword against anyone. His earthly life was truly peaceful. The account of Jesus going in to the Temple area at Passover time, just before his betrayal and crucifixion, shows a challenging side of the Christ. Scripture says he “overturned the tables of the money changers” and accused the leaders of turning his Father’s House into a “den of robbers.” Was he angry? Was he being religious and strict?
Actually Jesus was being gentle and getting humanity back on purpose! Our Heavenly Father had a plan and purpose for His Temple, and He has a plan and purpose for His Church (that is the community of believing people, not the buildings so much): To be gathering and sending places for all people from all ethnic backgrounds, to come together in prayer and worship, and to send and go out in service and outreach. Jesus entered Jerusalem on a donkey, slowly and in full sight. No war horses or swords or armies. He went in to the Temple and, doing no harm, made an unmistakable claim to all who knew their faith – “I am the King you’ve been waiting for! And if you have eyes to see this you will stop using my name and my community for your commercial gain and you will follow me before its too late.”
Jesus was being loving and kind. In a few days he would be betrayed, tortured, and crucified. But he would also arise from the grave and ascend to heaven. This Temple cleanout was one of his last acts of love and purpose that announced to anyone who knew their scriptures – This is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. Follow Him, don’t mess with Him.