top of page
  • Writer's picturePastor Chuck Cooper

Jesus Takes on the Establishment

Updated: May 16, 2023

The crowd was amazed that Jesus would take on the racket that had developed at the temple. It seems that the leaders had set up an elaborate system to rip people off. In essence, the exchange of currency and purchase of sacrificial animals had degenerated into a way to charge people exorbitant prices in order to worship. Jesus was incensed by this sacrilege of the temple. It wasn't the selling of the items (which was necessary), but the way that the leaders used it to bilk large sums from worshippers. Further, they chose the Court of the Gentiles to conduct this business, which was the only place that the Gentiles were allowed to worship at the temple. Thus, it shut out those who were seeking God.

We learn many things from this episode:

  • Jesus opposes those who seek to take advantage of worshippers for their own financial gain.

  • Jesus is quite capable of stern and angry rebukes of sin. We need to make sure that our idea of Jesus is big enough to include his righteous anger against sin.

  • Jesus wants people to be devoted to prayer and worship.

  • Jesus made tons of enemies among the religious establishment.

  • Jesus has a huge heart for outsiders and wants no obstacles put in their path.

It's common to reduce Jesus to a mild-mannered wimp who would never confront anybody.


That's far from the reality of who he is.


Jesus is the Lamb of God. But he's also the Lion of the tribe of Judah.


“What is worst of all is to advocate Christianity, not because it is true, but because it might be beneficial. To justify Christianity because it provides a foundation of morality, instead of showing the necessity of Christian morality from the truth of Christianity, is a very dangerous diversion.” - T.S. Eliot


Our Christianity is more than "Martha Stewart Living". More than cultural, ethical self improvement programs with or without a "personal therapist". It is a coming awake in Christ, more than a slow horizontal moving, it is an awakening to God. It is knowing God is on the field even when He is invisible. God is sometimes seen best in the dark. No more religion conventionalized into respectability. The early church did not preach good advice - the gospel was a declaration not a debate." Life is more than ETHICAL BEHAVIOR, MORAL VALUES, DECENT CONDUCT AND RESPECTABILITY. IT IS COMING FACE TO FACE with more than a creator, it is meeting an interrupting God who is confronting us with His Son who is HOLY, who came and is coming again as Judge which has in it the WRATH OF GOD.


Many churches need to redefine success. For many the popular model of success in Christianity is Martha Stewart Living, or human success, it envolves more than the ABCs—attendance, buildings, and cash. What was preached was a Christ, whose character envolved Holiness. Instead of counting Christians, we need to weigh them for many are spiritual lightweights needing solid food. Perhaps we should focus on the most important kind of growth—love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, kindness, and so on—fruit in keeping with the gospel and the kingdom. But this is only part of who is was and is, we also need the Christ who Takes on the Establishment

The crowd was amazed that Jesus would take on the racket that had developed at the temple. It seems that the leaders had set up an elaborate system to rip people off. In essence, the exchange of currency and purchase of sacrificial animals had degenerated into a way to charge people exorbitant prices in order to worship. Jesus was incensed by this sacrilege of the temple. It wasn't the selling of the items (which was necessary), but the way that the leaders used it to bilk large sums from worshippers. Further, they chose the Court of the Gentiles to conduct this business, which was the only place that the Gentiles were allowed to worship at the temple. Thus, it shut out those who were seeking God.

We learn many things from this episode:

  • Jesus opposes those who seek to take advantage of worshippers for their own financial gain.

  • Jesus is quite capable of stern and angry rebukes of sin. We need to make sure that our idea of Jesus is big enough to include his righteous anger against sin.

  • Jesus wants people to be devoted to prayer and worship.

  • Jesus made tons of enemies among the religious establishment.

  • Jesus has a huge heart for outsiders and wants no obstacles put in their path.

It's common to reduce Jesus to a mild-mannered wimp who would never confront anybody. That's far from the reality of who he is.

Jesus is the Lamb of God. But he's also the Lion of the tribe of Judah.

No, they did not preach good advice or exchange God's message into being nice, nor did they cultivate inoffensiveness . Truth, clarity and passion was their means and their message.


"The concern for world evangelization is not something tacked on to a man's personal Christianity, which he may take or leave as he chooses. It is rooted in the character of the God who has come to us in Christ Jesus. Thus, it can never be the province of a few enthusiasts, a sideline or a specialty of those who happen to have a bent that way. It is the distinctive mark of being a Christian.

6 views

Recent Posts

See All

Comments


bottom of page