“Then they came to Jerusalem. And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who were selling and those who were buying in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves, and he would not allow anyone to carry anything through the temple.” (Mark 11:15-16)
Jesus was in Jerusalem for Passover. When He went to the temple to worship, He could barely get through all the animal vendors, moneychangers, and administrators. They were making a killing on the poor pilgrims coming to the rituals. The temple had moved from being focused on God into using worship to make money.
Jesus doesn’t like what He sees. He overturns the tables. Mayhem ensues. The sales are disrupted. The animals go berserk. The people scramble to collect the scattered coins. The administrators panic. The moneychangers are furious.
The temple officials respond to all this chaos by condemning Jesus. They’ve had enough. Jesus has gone too far. It’s time for Jesus to die because too much is at stake for Him to continue such disruptions.
Jesus overturned the tables on that day in Jerusalem, and He still overturns tables today. What He did on that day is a metaphor and symbol for what He continues to do. Jesus overturns our tables when we indulge in practices that undermine our faith, drain our souls, harden our minds, and shrink our hearts.
Behind the aggressive anger, Jesus displayed on that day in the temple is His fierce love for God the Father and for us. He wants nothing to distract us from giving our adoration to God and nothing to deter us from following Him.
Jesus once overturned the tables to cleanse the temple. I encourage us to think and pray about how we might need Jesus to overturn some of our own tables in order to purify us.
What might those tables be? They are the habits, beliefs, attitudes, rituals, and practices that distract us from keeping God at the center of our lives. Jesus disrupts our lives for the sake of calling us back to the true faith, true worship, and true service.
- Has Jesus ever disrupted any of your own habits, beliefs, attitudes, rituals, or practices? If so, how come?
- We all know the phrase, “To go along to get along.” If Jesus had “gone along to get along” in the temple that day, what would have been lost? If He does the same in your life, again, what could be lost?
- Does Jesus need to disrupt something in your life right now? Are there things you are doing or not, things you are saying or not, things you are believing or not, that need to be overturned? If so, what?