Do yourselves a favor and read Beth Moore’s analysis of The Cleansing of the Temple by Jesus.
Is it fair to say that Jesus, the sinless Son of God, acted in anger in this scene? Somehow I can’t picture him braiding up a whip and flipping over furniture because he was mildly annoyed. What sets divine anger—and even ultimately divine wrath—apart from human anger is that it cannot be extracted from his love. God cannot set it aside His love because it is not only what he does. It is who He is. It is his very essence. We’re simply too quick to forget that love has a spine.
This might be the most important lesson of Holy Week: Love has a spine. Too often in the 21st Century Church, the followers of Jesus have no spine:
- We know that we should be standing up to bullies (especially church bullies) but we fear the bullies will turn on us.
- We know that we are called to stand with the poor, but it’s easier to sit in our own comfort and look away.
- We know that it’s right to stand beside our siblings whose very existence is threatened, but we were taught to avoid conflict.
Where is our backbone, Church? Clearly Jesus became angry witnessing the poor being cheated and the disenfranchised being abandoned. Jesus wasn’t always “nice” or accommodating like many of us try to be.
But Jesus didn’t cleanse the temple to spark mayhem. It was about love. Love. Has. A. Spine.
Why don’t we?
For the sake of the Gospel, we need to find our spines and stand up, stand with, and stand beside the people Jesus died for. Because of love.