Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. “It is written,” he said to them, “‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’ but you are making it ‘a den of robbers.’”
Matthew 21: 12 – 13
Anger may not be the first characteristic that springs to mind when you think of Jesus but here we have one of a small number of passages where Jesus clearly displays his feelings. The commercial activity in the Temple meant that those that were selling were not only taking advantage of the pilgrims but that everyone – traders and visitors alike – had completely lost sight of the sanctity of the space.
Jesus intervenes in the situation, putting a stop to their behaviour and stamping his authority on Temple activities. It’s true to say that Jesus was outraged at the hypocrisy and injustice of what was taking place.
What outrages you? What are examples of hypocrisy and injustice that get you hot under the collar? Are there metaphorical tables that you would like to overturn? We probably only need to look around us or read the news …
The 16th Century mystic, Teresa of Ávila said “Christ has no body now but yours. No hands, no feet on earth but yours.” How does that challenge speak to us in the light of injustice?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, as we continue our journey through Matthew’s gospel, we pray that we will come to know you better and to understand your words and your actions. We ask for courage to stand up to injustice. Amen.
Action: Reflect on what outrages you and pray for wisdom to know what action to take.