Today’s Gospel: John 2:13-22
In this passage we meet “John Wayne” Jesus. Jesus has ridden into town–not on a horse mind you, but on a donkey–and he has his posse with him, his 12 hombres. And, Jesus is not happy with what he finds at the temple.
Jesus turns over tables at the temple market with hot anger and wreaks havoc on the merchants who are taking advantage of the people. This very public scene let everyone know how Jesus felt about the moneychangers.
I love this Jesus. I love that Jesus has a temper, that he shows righteous anger and indignation when appropriate, and that he doesn’t walk in to the temple market and try to mediate the situation. Sometimes, clearing the tables or the saloon is what is required. Being nice is not what is needed.
He is a different kind of Savior on this day, more of a cowboy who has come in to clean up a town that has lost its way. With his actions he sends a strong message, he hopes to redirect their focus on the true purpose of the temple.
Sometimes we need redirecting too. Sometimes we lose our way. The church isn’t for drive by confirmations or baptisms without commitment, but sometimes that happens. Sometimes people want to be married in the church because it is beautiful and not because they see their marriage as a sacrament, a covenant between them and God. When these things happen, the message that has to be sent to folks often seems harsh, but it isn’t. It is simply the church trying to redirect the true purpose of the church. As we walk the season of Lent, may we too seek to realign our focus where needed.
Lord, the line can become blurry when we seek to advance our own agendas instead of yours. Rid us of our foolish ways. Turn over the tables in our hearts and minds when necessary. Realign us when we are blinded by our own desires. Help us to live our lives to your glory. Amen.
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