I could start this off with an anecdote from my life and the story of how I came to the conclusion that I am writing about, but this is just about as straightforward a message as I’ve ever gotten from God. So I might as well keep it straightforward.
I accidentally glanced over Mark 11 this week, and this hit me strangely hard at just skimming over Jesus’ words. And upon reading more deeply into the passage, the conviction that hit me only seemed to become more clear.
So this is about that time Jesus flipped out and flipped over tables and flipped everyone’s business schemes on their heads. When Jesus walked into the temple, God’s place of residence, and was instead greeted by manipulative business transactions and godless exchanges. When businessmen turned God’s holy, set apart celebration into a means of profit by swindling travelers who were in need of animals for the necessary sacrifices.
In Mark, only a few short verses are listed to describe the event, but they hold much more weight than I first attributed to them.
On reaching Jerusalem, Jesus entered the temple courts and began driving out those who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves, and would not allow anyone to carry merchandise through the temple courts. And as he taught them, he said, “Is it not written: ‘My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations’? But you have made it ‘a den of robbers.’” (v. 15-17)
Jesus was so angry because He just witnessed God’s vision for the temple obscured by man.
He was clearly passionate about seeing God’s vision animated on earth. And to see His Father’s intentions be purposefully ignored and disrupted by His people was hardly something He could stand by and remain silent about.
I mean, that is why He came to earth, after all; He came to restore God’s original vision of an eternal and perfect union between us and Him after we destroyed it by turning away and giving into our flesh.
And I know I get angry when my visions are unfulfilled. When things get in the way of what I want. When people seemingly work against things I’ve dreamed about and worked for. Like right now, for example. I should be saving up so I can start school next semester. But I am stuck in bed because I’m sick and have been for the past two weeks and the doctors have been of little to no use. So now I’m upset because I’m missing work, and my medical bills are piling up and further pulling me off of the course I was on.
So, what if I were that passionate about God’s visions?
What if I was so bothered by the lack of the peace and unity that God envisioned for His people that I did something about it? Or by the complete overlooking of commands directing us to help others? Or by all of the injustices that plague the world? Because God’s Word is just full of His vision for us as His people. And it should bother me quite a bit that there are so many discrepancies between His vision and our reality. And that should lead to action, as it did in Jesus’ case.
This is so simple. Why am I just now getting this?