"Jesus raises a ruckus"

The thud of bull hooves rumbles across the square. Swirls of dust rise into the air. Sheep bleat, doves flap their wings, and traders yell. "Stop turning my Father's house into a marketplace!" He screams. The Prince of Peace is raising a ruckus.

He wields the cords and flips the tables (Matthew 21:12); the crowds part like the Red Sea. Mothers clutch their crying children. A cage overturns and doves fly free, an offering sent heavenward by a whip-swinging Savior.

Sometimes we get Jesus wrong. We think of a soft, serene Savior ("the poor baby awakes"), a meek and mild Nazarene ("no crying he makes"), and we forget that some in Jesus' time thought He was John the Baptist or Elijah returned from death (Mark 8:28). The Son of God wasn't thought of as some gentle guru of love, peace, and harmony. He was likened to a wild, thunderous, locust-eating prophet.

Surely Jesus was a teacher of love. His clearing of the Temple was no anti-business protest. The traders had set up shop in the Temple's Outer Court, the only place where women and God-fearing Gentiles could worship. That act disrespected both God and worshiper; Jesus' response was a passionate portrayal of love for both. And surely Jesus was a prophet of peace, teaching the turning of cheeks and the loving of enemies. But that didn't negate His wrathful confronting of error. As Dorothy Sayers has said, "Whatever His peace was, it was not the peace of an amiable indifference."

No, Jesus could be a powerful, angry, passionate personality, the only kind worthy of our full allegiance and trust. For what Savior would wink at greed and injustice? And what God could be worshiped who showed "amiable indifference" to the wronged? , Sheridan Voysey, Our Daily Journey

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