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Mark 171 - Lash Out



On reaching Jerusalem, Jesus entered the temple courts and began driving out those who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves, and would not allow anyone to carry merchandise through the temple courts.


Mark 11:15,16


Do you lash out at people? Do you take matters immediately into your own hands? Do you respond in anger and vengeance?


Or do you wait? Do you take time to think about it? Ask for advice and counsel? Do you pray about it?


Jesus takes some time before taking on the evil he sees. Remember, he saw what was going on in the temple area the day before. He’s had all night to:


· Think about it

· Mull over it

· Pray to his heavenly father

· Consider his options

· Plan out what he was going to do and say


Yes, there is a time for immediate action and reaction to evil. There is a time to take on abuse of power and people. But this was not it. Jesus comes up with a plan of attack.


The first thing he does is to enter the temple. This might sound too simple, but it’s important. He had to go where the evil was in order to address it directly.


It’s one thing to be concerned about an evil. It may be necessary to talk about it, or even support an organization that’s working against evil. But it’s another thing altogether to walk into the place where evil is taking place, going face to face with it.


Then Jesus takes four specific steps to get rid of the problem, the people who are performing evil.


1. Drive out anyone buying or selling – no commerce, buying or selling was allowed in the temple area. Period. There was no room for negotiation. No wiggle-room for compromise.

2. Overturn the tables of the moneychangers – Roman currency was the everyday money, so it had to be converted to temple-approved coins to pay the temple tax. In itself, this was a service, but it should have been done outside the temple and without the heavy service fees.

3. Overturn seats of people selling doves – for most people, they brought their own sacrifices. But for the poor, God made allowances for them to use a dove as a low-cost sacrifice. Again, this should have taken place outside the temple and at a reasonable cost. This was social injustice that had been made part of the “religious infrastructure.”

4. Stop the shortcut – people were using the temple as a shortcut, carrying stuff in and out of the city.


The whole point of these actions by Jesus is that there’s a part of life that’s to be separated. Set apart from the common, everyday things. Our relationship with God is to not just be thought of as special in our heads, but to influence and infect our everyday lives.


God made us to have an everyday relationship with him. God went looking for Adam and Eve as he walked through the garden in the cool of the day[1]. It doesn’t say that this was any particular or special day. It was just a day.


That’s when God wants to meet with you and me, on any and every day. He doesn’t want us to save up our “God stuff” till Sunday, or any other time in the future. We’re not to try and figure things out for ourselves, driving up our stress, anxiety, and depression.


Our job is to live life as God has made us, and the world. To ignore how he’s set things up isn’t just unwise. It’s just plain stupid. Try living your life by ignoring gravity, or your health. You might get by with it for a while, but it’s all going to catch up with you sooner than you think.


Jesus was willing to not just call these people out, he was willing to step up to the plate, speak God’s truth, and act on it. Since he was in the temple, he had the right to act on behalf of God.


Where has God put you to speak for him? To encourage and reward those walking with God. To humbly speak against those who are either ignorant of or are ignoring God’s best plan and life for them.


We have a calling and responsibility to speak and share about what we know. It doesn’t take advanced degrees or special training. God holds us accountable for what we know, and that’s what we have to speak to.


So let’s live today with and for him. Willing to speak and act in his name. In his power. For his glory.

[1] Genesis 3:8

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