Today’s Reading: Mark 11:15-18
Jesus Clears the Temple
As a school teacher, one of my many jobs is to quite a noisy crowd so when I read this passage my mind is immediately drawn to the authority of Christ. This scene takes place in Jerusalem during the time of Passover meaning thousands of pilgrims had come to the city to celebrate the week long festival and commemorate Israel being brought out of Egypt. (Exodus 12)
The temple was the place where people would come to pray, worship and offer sacrifice to the Lord. Seizing the opportunity to make a little extra money, vendors had set up tables in the temple courts for people to purchase sacrificial animals. It reminds me of the popcorn vendors at the circus. “Cattle! Cattle for sale!” The problem being…this was the house of the Lord, a holy place of worship set apart for the people of God. I equate it to the idea of someone trolling up and down the aisles during church service selling Bibles & worship albums. The scene is nauseating.
Jesus enters and upon seeing the merchants hawking their wares the authority of Christ is put on display and the vast crowd turns its attention to Him. He fashions a whip out of cords and uses it to drive out the animals. (verse 15) He turns the tables over and coins go sailing through the air while rebuking the men for turning a place of worship into a convenient store. His full power is on display.
John 1:29 tells us that Jesus is the lamb of God but I can’t read this story without being reminded of Revelation 5:5 where Jesus is called, “The Lion of the Tribe of Judah.” We do serve a God who is gentle, long suffering, kind and patient but we also serve a God who is strong, powerful, authoritative and dangerous.
-HE is the one no army can stand against.
-HE is the one no enemy can defeat.
-HE is the one that overcame death.
-HE is the final authority.