I remember sitting in Sunday school as a child learning about the many great adventures and events that took place in the biblical days. Sometimes I imagine myself watching Abraham rejoice after God told him that he would be the father of many nations, crossing the Red Sea with the people of Israel or sitting on the Ark with Noah, his family and the animals. Although these are some of the most memorable events in the Bible there is one thing I want to see more than anything else; Jesus cleansing the temple.
You might be wondering, “Why the temple? Why not the resurrection, the crucifixion or his birth?” True those are all great events that took place but to me when Jesus was flipping tables over in the temple and driving the money changers from the holy place. It is one of the few times that we really see any emotion expressed by Christ. To me it stands out because we see the more “human” characteristics of Jesus.
Usually, when someone tries to offend him or outsmart him Jesus simply remains calm and replies with respect and kindness. Whether it be in the form of a parable or scripture, Jesus just said something leaving his opponents baffled as he left the scene with his disciples. This was not the case in the temple. Jesus literally made a whip from some cords and drove the livestock from the temple, dumped the money changers coins and flipped tables in a rage.
“And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all of them who sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves, And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.”
It was something that I never expected reading the Bible as a child. Though it was for good reason as it was his Father’s house that was being degraded not Jesus as had been by religious leaders trying to challenge him. Many people say that biblical figures such as Jesus never existed since they are not shown to display human characteristics.
Think about it; Abraham was a loving father, Daniel and Joseph were slaves in foreign lands but due to their trustworthiness and responsible natures they were put in high positions, Jonah was a man on the run, Moses was also on the run but not from God but because he had committed murder, Thomas was a doubter, Peter a liar and Jesus showed fear in the face of death in the garden before being crucified while here he showed rage.