Arresting Aggression against the Kingdom

When Jesus arrived on the scene, the Jewish leadership was expecting a conquering king to redeem the land back from the Romans and establish the kingdom of Israel.  Instead, Jesus came to redeem the people back to the Kingdom of God.  Although He was called to suffer at the cross for mankind, that calling did not prevent Him from “arresting aggression” against the Kingdom.  The following passage takes place during the last week of His earthly ministry:

Mat 21:10-14

10  And when He had come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, “Who is this?”

11  So the multitudes said, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth of Galilee.”

12  Then Jesus went into the temple of God[fn6] and drove out all those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves.

13  And He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’[fn7] but you have made it a ‘den of thieves.'”[fn8]

14  Then the blind and the lame came to Him in the temple, and He healed them.

This facet of Love seemed a little unusual for Jesus for the Gospels projected Him as a man of peace and compassion.  What made this different?  What caused Jesus to take action against the money changers?

Previous to this incident, Jesus had prophesied that the Jewish nation would never produce any fruit (the parable of the fig tree) and was preparing to teach in the temple.  Upon His arrival, the temple had become a commercialized market for “sacrifices” and had lost its significance as a house of prayer.  Revelation had been replaced by tradition. 

The temple had been known historically as where the glory of God resided but the people knew that HIS occupation had long since been removed.  The priests continued their sacrifices and supplications as prescribed by the Law, hoping against hope that HIS presence might return.  The leadership had lost the revelation of the importance of holiness and the “Fear of the Lord”.  What was once protected against exploitation had now become the center of commercial activity.  Jesus called it a den of thieves.

Today, we are faced with the same aggression.  People, circumstances, trends, media, laws, and our own ego are attempting to turn our temple into a den of thieves.  This is applicable on a personal, corporate, and national level.  Mystery Babylon has become blatant in its attempt to replace the Kingdom of God.  In the past, men have met behind closed doors to promote their plans of greed knowing that the consequences of their actions would hurt millions of unsuspecting souls.  Christians have become passive and silent hoping that things would just turn out alright.  Now, those plans have come out of the smoke filled backrooms and are openly touted as the answer to all of our problems.  Governments around the world have taken on a character of their own, failing to serve mankind.  Now, self interest, greed, exploitation, genocide, and invasion of sovereign land are the characteristics of global thinking.

Jesus walked at the expression of Love.  Every action, every word, and every encounter were all guided by Love.  Love does not start a fight but it does not back down when confronted by sin.  Spiritual intercession and warfare is critical but don’t think for a minute that there will be no physical outworking of this warfare.  The key is to respond to aggression with Love, not vengeance.  Jesus found it necessary to arrest the aggressive behavior of the money changers.  You may be called on to do the same. 

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