After Jesus unexpectedly turns water to wine (see previous post), we find something even more unexpected.

It is the time of Passover. Jewish people from all over the Roman Empire would travel to Jerusalem for this time of celebration and worship. It was a celebration of how God brought them out of slavery in the land of Egypt and a reminder of potential future deliverance from oppressive rule. However, there were many in the temple system who had impure motives. They wanted to get rich off those coming to worship, so they charged ridiculous exchange rates and sold sacrifices.

In the next scene we find Jesus making a whip of chords. Now this is not what I expect Jesus to be doing. I would think that a strong talking to would come first as a warning. Many others though have this view of Jesus that He was a physically weak and mild person yet very smart and like-able. Truly He is wise, but He is also, dare I say, manly!

Now the Scripture do not state that He actually hit anyone with the whip…but it was at minimum intimidating as he cracked the whip and caused a stampede of animals. With great force He turned over the tables of the the merchants and money changers. No one was willing to physically stand up to Him.

So why did Jesus take such a bold stand?

1. To fulfill the prophecy found in Psalm 69:19, “for zeal for your house consumes me,
and the insults of those who insult you fall on me.”
We should always be mindful of our motivations for service.
2. To be a wedge. The true Jesus is a wedge that divides people into one of two camps…those who sincerely want to worship God and those that have different motives.

3. To fight against religious hypocrisy. Jesus knows the damage caused by false religion…that’s why in John chapter 4 He states, Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.”

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