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Sometimes... You Just...

Posted: Wed Dec 12, 2018 6:49 pm
by ArcticFox
...gotta flip the table.

Image

But seriously... What do we learn from this event in Scripture? Jesus Christ, who was always the One to forgive, to give love, to be patient, kind and generous... The one who suffered for all of us on the cross... still felt the need to go beast mode on the moneychangers.

Did He lose his temper? I doubt it. That would be sin, which Christ never committed. Justice, perhaps? An instructive rebuke?

John 2: 13-16
13 And the Jews' passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
14 And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting:
15 And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers' money, and overthrew the tables;
16 And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father's house an house of merchandise.
Jesus does what He does in Scripture for a reason. I find two things noteworthy here:

First, He didn't send others to do it for Him. As far as we can tell from the text, He acted alone.
Second, he made the scourge Himself, meaning he took some time. This wasn't a burst of rage. This was Jesus seeing what was happening, making a decision, taking some time to set it up, then acting.
Third, while painful, a scourge isn't a weapon that's inherently very dangerous. Taking a few lashes isn't going to kill anybody.
(Here's something to chew on though: Jesus said that he who lives by the sword shall die by the sword. What can we learn from the fact that here, Jesus used a scourge, and later on the Roman soldiers used scourges on Him before He was crucified?)

As I try to imagine living at that time and in that place, I can imagine that word would spread FAST that some rabbi had just physically ejected the moneychangers from the Temple with a scourge. That's.... huge news. Huge. Imagine watching the evening news and seeing a story where some well known televangelist or Catholic Bishop or whatever had gone berzerk and tackled some dude outside a cathedral for scalping tickets or something. News of the event would reverberate for WEEKS, but I bet scalpers would think twice about going back there for a while...

Maybe He tried more peacheful means first. Maybe He had spoken to someone in authority (presumably a Levitical priest in the Temple) and tried to convince them, but they wouldn't listen? Maybe He'd tried to talk to the moneychangers directly and they refused? Maybe that scourge was a weapon of last resort.

But He did resort to it, didn't He?

So what does that tell us about the Temple itself? Well, I'd say it tell us that this was scared ground in the same way as the ground near the burning bush, when Moses was commanded by God to remove his sandals. The Lord is rather particular about the treatment of sacred things and places. Remember what happened to the guy who touched the Ark of the Covenant with his bare hand? *ZAP*. And just look in the Old Testament about what happens when you store the Ark near idols of false gods? Remember what happens when an unworthy person entered the Holiest of Holies in the Tabernacle? Yeah. They'd tie a rope around your ankle before you entered just in case, so they could drag your corpse out without having to go in there after you.

So it starts to paint a picture of how serious sacredness really is. Now I'm thinking those moneychangers got off light.

Re: Sometimes... You Just...

Posted: Wed Dec 12, 2018 10:22 pm
by Beastbot
Good insight. (Though what did Jesus have against tables, I wonder? They didn't do anything.) :wink:

I personally am not as "anti-violence" as some other Christians I know, though I can understand the sentiment, I suppose. But I think those who take Jesus' "turn the other cheek" as a way to literally live your whole life-- as a person, as a nation, etc.-- are generalizing it too much.

Re: Sometimes... You Just...

Posted: Fri Dec 14, 2018 3:34 am
by ccgr
Good analysis.

I made reference to these verses in my heated exchange on our Persona 5 comments

We're suppose to be loving and respectful but sometimes the gloves have to come off and we need to do what's right and honoring to God. It's sad because Christians have to shut up and take what's thrown at us. We have to quietly watch our Lord be mocked on shows like South Park while Muslims issue death threats at a mere doodle of Mohammed. Where is the happy medium these days?

Re: Sometimes... You Just...

Posted: Fri Dec 14, 2018 5:52 pm
by ArcticFox
ccgr wrote:
Fri Dec 14, 2018 3:34 am
Good analysis.

I made reference to these verses in my heated exchange on our Persona 5 comments

We're suppose to be loving and respectful but sometimes the gloves have to come off and we need to do what's right and honoring to God. It's sad because Christians have to shut up and take what's thrown at us. We have to quietly watch our Lord be mocked on shows like South Park while Muslims issue death threats at a mere doodle of Mohammed. Where is the happy medium these days?
Thanks.

There's no happy medium. This, more than anything else, has me believing Satan really is running things in this fallen world and that will continue until the Second Coming. I mean, it does say in Revelation that this would be the case, so as Christians we shouldn't be surprised... it's all in the manual.

Now, if Satan has his power, and his primary target is Christianity... well, that certifies Christianity as the place to be if you oppose evil.

That said, we have to continue to actually be Christians. We can't lose sight of the teachings from Scripture. Yes, we still need to turn the other cheek when possible, but we also know that sometimes it just isn't.