Thursday, September 18, 2014

Why I'm Glad That Jesus Flips Tables

"Jesus told those who were selling doves, 'Get these things out of here! Stop turning My Father’s house into a marketplace!'" - John 2:16  

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A married couple, two very good good friends of mine, asked me to take care of their house for a couple of days over Labor Day weekend and I happily agreed to do it. 

They asked me to stay over, watch over their dogs and make sure the house was safe. They left me the keys and the house was now my responsibility while they were out of town.

I watched some college football, fed the dogs and didn’t burn the house down -- mission accomplished.

But what if my friends had returned and opened the door to find that I had opened up a mini flea market inside of their house, filthy animals being traded on tables where they normally ate, furniture in disarray and people coming in and out to make a deal or two?

Luckily, my friends didn’t have to find their house in that condition. Jesus, however, wasn’t as fortunate.

There’s an event in John 2 that is always a bit jarring whenever I read it. Jesus went up to Jerusalem to visit the temple complex in and found a chaotic scene. What was supposed to be a house of worship had been turned into a makeshift commerce center by the Jewish leaders, with people selling oxen, sheep, doves and probably other animals. The place was probably a wreck and smelled more like a barn than a sanctuary when Jesus entered.

So Jesus, in defense of His Father’s house, did what a lot of upset homeowners would do -- he told everybody to get out and cleared the place. He flipped tables. He poured the money changers’ coins all over the floor.

Why? Not only were they using God's house and resources for their own benefit, but they were disrupting worship. Instead of glorifying God and attempting to reach out to those far from Him, they were concerned with their own business transactions. These Jewish leaders in charge of the temple had lost sight of the temple's true purpose. 

The story jarring because we often don't think about Jesus in this way -- He was angry and he was stern, chasing these people and their animals out of the temple. Aren't you being a little bit harsh, Jesus? I initially think. 

Then I start to think about the times when Jesus needed to flip tables and scatter coins in my own life. The times when I was using the blessings God had given me with and using it for my own benefit. Or neglecting to make His house, the church, a priority in my life.
He could have let me continue go about doing life my own way, but I thank God that He didn’t. I thank God that He stepped in and flipped all the tables I set up in my life that were being used for my own gain instead of His glory

Jesus flipped those tables out of love -- tough love -- for the purpose of bringing us closer to Him. 


  1. Great Stuff! Very encouraging to read!!so many times we get lost trying flip other people's tables, as we set up our own.