Have you ever flipped a table? I have, but only when trying to put them away. I’ve always thought there would be something intensely gratifying about flipping one just for the sake of making the statement ‘I AM ANGRY ABOUT SOMETHING!’ Movies and television shows make it look so easy, but those things can be heavy.
Anger is a funny thing to me. It seems so inappropriate most of the time. Like it’s something to be avoided. I tell my wife not to be angry. I teach my son not to be angry. I’m sure my daughter is next on the list. Most of us try to avoid anger at all costs. But today, Jesus is angry.
There’s no proof Jesus actually flipped the moneychanging tables on Tuesday of Holy Week. For all we know he was laying on a cloak on the beach outside of Jerusalem, but what we do know is that at some point this week, it happened. An expression of righteous anger over the misuse of the house of God. ‘They have turned my Father’s house into a den of thieves’, he said. Strong words for a strong situation, and he was right too.
There wasn’t a whole lot of worshipping going on, it was more about putting the stuff people wanted in the place people were – and that was the temple. People from out of town almost immediately found their way to the temple up arrival, and so it made sense that if they wanted the currency of the time, they find it at the temple right? Convenience is king. But Jesus was having none of it.
You and I allow the house of God to become dominated by convenience too. I’ll get to church when nothing else is going on. I’ll go to a place where I can walk in and out without being asked to do anything or challenged to grow. I want to fit God’s Spirit in where I can, but not like, all the time. Part of me wonders if Jesus is sitting up in heaven somewhere, looking down at us and flipping tables in his mind. It would make sense, and it would be justified.
Jesus displayed righteous anger at the actions of the people in the temple that day in Jerusalem. A few short days later, at the time of his death God tore the curtain in the temple in two, and you and I became the temple of God. Ask yourself today, when Jesus looks at what’s going on inside you, is he finding joy, or flipping tables?