Why Did Jesus Turn Over Tables?
Why did Jesus turn over the tables in the temple? Was it because He didn’t love the temple or the people of God? Or because He did?
Was it because of love or the lack of love that He caused a ruckus, that He forced everyone to start asking themselves and each other new and difficult questions?
We know what the answer is. Jesus turned over tables BECAUSE He loved the temple and the people of God. They had slid off track, lost their focus, settled for far too little.
And so Jesus turned over some tables. He did so not to question what His Father had ordained for His people but to question what the people had done with what His Father had ordained.
Some who saw Him do it were offended. When people are comfortable with or responsible for how things are, new but difficult questions can irritate and aggravate. People would rather question the loyalty or sanity of those who ask such questions rather than sit down and start to answer them. Jeremiah experienced that. As did most of the prophets.
In the temple, Jesus was filling the role of prophet. Many resented His intrusion and His questions. However, He came not to offend but to awaken. Many were offended. No matter how nicely Jesus would have asked the questions, they would have been offended. It wasn’t how Jesus asked the questions that offended. It was that the questions were asked at all. And yet the same action of turning over tables and asking hard questions started to shake up and wake up the very people who would eventually be part of the 3000 baptized on Pentecost and sent out to be the Church renewed and on mission.
So Jesus loved the temple and the people of God so much He turned over their tables and questioned their status quo.
Troublemaker or Prophet?
Pharisees were offended. Common folks were awakened.
It is the nature of human beings in every age to want to be told all is well and we are doing a really good job. It is the nature of God in every age to call us to more than we have settled for.
Could it be that God has again sent prophets to His Church to ask hard questions so that we no longer settle for too little?
May we get over our aggravation and get busy answering the hard but important questions of the day.
Our love for His Church compels us.