17 October 2011

Which Jesus?

Jesus casting out the money changers at the templeImage via Wikipedia


We continue to move slowly through the book of John.
This is not a complaint.  Slow is good.  Meat is meant to be chewed.
Last week Jesus turned water into wine astonishing those who witnessed this, His first miracle.
This was a Jesus we love, a friendly, party loving type of Jesus.  He enjoyed helping others have a good time.

This week, we meet a different side of Jesus:

When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple courts he found people selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple courts, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. To those who sold doves he said, “Get these out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a market!” His disciples remembered that it is written: “Zeal for your house will consume me.”  John 2:13-17 NIV

This is a stern, serious, angry Jesus.  This is perhaps not the Jesus we like to think of.
But it is Jesus indeed.  The Jesus Who cares.  The Jesus that will not tolerate injustice.
The Jesus Who shouted out:

My house will be called a house of prayer, but you are making it a den of robbers
Matthew 21:13b NIV

Yet this is still the same Jesus Who cares enough to assure that we all are treated fairly.
Jew or gentile;  man or woman;  adult or child.
Same Jesus. Same God. Still love made flesh.  He loves.
Can we love all aspects of Who He Is?

And the question we were left with was:
what might He need to clean in our own temples?

I am soiled, torn
cracked and dry
often no more than dust
yet He loves me enough
to come
pouring down on me
like good clean rain
leaving me moldable
again in His hands
He alone can shape me
into what I need to be.



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3 comments:

Sheila said...

Karin,
I think sometimes about the Jesus we learn about in Sunday School...the one who's smiling and holding a lamb in His arms.

At least that's what I remember learning about Him.

It's quite a shift, isn't it, when we mature and understand more of His essence?

And the comment about the dirt to be swept from our own temples. Oh my.

Michelle DeRusha said...

He's complicated, isn't He? Grateful for this broad perspective, Karin.

Stephen Phillip Porter said...

Hi Karin,

The thing that I love about these two stories, the wine and the temple, sitting back to back is that John shows Jesus honoring His parents as His first acts in the world. He turns the water into wine at the request of His mother, and He drives the money changers out of His Father's house. It's a beautiful reminder, not just of the multiple facets of His character, but also what our example in this life ought to be.

God bless!

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