Jesus the Upsetter
"He entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold and bought." Mark 11:15
When something happens every day it becomes normal. When Jesus entered the temple He saw what others had refused to see. Or, perhaps, they saw it but didn't think about it. Or they thought about it, but didn't say anything. He saw the system was broken—enough to take a stand against it. He had come into conflict with the greatest profit-making power of His time.
When Jesus entered the temple, He saw how the smug priests had defiled the atmosphere. Selfless anger rose up in Him and He drove out the money changers. He turned over their tables and the money went rolling after them along the temple floor. Jesus had broken the first rule of entrenched power; ‘thou shall not upset the cash register.’ Jesus became the great Upsetter. It was this one deadly act that led to His trial and crucifixion.
He stood alone in the midst of the suddenly-empty court. The marvelous courage of a Galilean carpenter single-handedly upset the religious leaders of the city. It wasn't the cords in His hands, it was the look in His eyes and the authority of His action that caused the crowd to shrink in dismay. Jesus had pulled back the curtain and exposed the truth of what the temple had become. In one moment, the atmosphere of the temple was charged with the Light of Truth. The place of worship became brighter because the Living Light had come to clean house. Jesus had challenged the "good racket" of temple concessions. He struck back with violence.
He will not endure sacred things to be built on laws and lies. When a holy wind comes in, they will all be blown away, down to the bedrock of what is real and true. Until Christians exert themselves with the same vigor and daring Jesus showed in the temple, they will never get into frontline engagement with the things of God. Prayer, worship and church will continue to be only a means to an end, an escape from worry and aesthetic gratification.
Have you set anything up in your life that's working against real worship of God?