Also, there are sheep… and cattle! Start yelling and lunging about and you’re likely to cause a stampede, hurting pilgrims in the process. No, Jesus plans it out. He is angry, but he masters and channels his anger into righteous action instead of using it as an excuse to sin.
I think the main reason he does it is pretty simple. He says the temple is supposed to be a house of prayer. How could anyone pray with all that hullabaloo going on? It sounds like a cross between a carnival and a 4H fair!
The part that catches my attention, though, is down in verse 15. The temple leaders demand a miraculous sign as “proof” that he has the authority to do this. It’s funny, they ask for miracles a lot during Jesus’ life. Even right after, while he’s still in town for the Passover, he apparently performs a whole slew of miraculous signs (verse 23). Did the People-of-Importance come and apologize to him? Nope.
In Matthew 12: 10, People-of-Importance watch as Jesus heals a man’s withered hand right in front of them! Do they accept his authority then? Nope. Righteous people that they are, they start brainstorming about ways to have Jesus killed. People who do not want to believe… won’t.
Here I sit, a living, breathing, sentient soul. That I am alive at all is a complete and astounding miracle. I had exactly nothing to do with being alive. Ask 100 people to name a miracle in their lives; will even one name their birth? I doubt it.
Miracles – if I may be cliché – are all around me. But they’re surprisingly easy to overlook. When they threaten my position in the world or my view of the world, they’re even harder to acknowledge. I have witnessed miracles, and even I – someone who wants to believe and grow in my faith – sometimes wonder if there is a more “logical” explanation.
QUESTIONS: When you feel angry about some issue or event, an outburst can feel viscerally gratifying, but it doesn’t change anything. Talk about or write down ways to channel your anger into positive action. Do Jesus’ actions in this story help you?
Is it a sin to question miracles? Explain your answers.
In verse 23, it says that many people who saw Jesus’ miracles believed in him, but that Jesus refused to entrust himself to them. What was John trying to tell us here?
PRAYER: Jesus, I am sorry. Sometimes it feels really good to get really mad. Forgive me. Help me use that energy for something that points people to you. Together, maybe together, we can use it to birth miracles.