Leviticus 4-5; Matthew 21; Psalm 117
I had never been to church. That is, until my parents became believers. I was about 9 years old when they gave their lives to the Lord. I can still remember the service. I remember the room, the arrangement of the pews, and where we sat. It was a whole new world.
Jesus, the advocate and champion of children, isn’t as two-dimensional as our children’s books portray Him. Sensitive and kind, certainly, but make no mistake, Jesus is no push-over.
The challenge in presenting Jesus lies in the tension. He is fully God and fully man. He is completely just and altogether merciful. He is both-and, never either-or.
And so, for some reason, even with my limited church experience, Jesus had taken on a flat, dull, harmless persona in my mind. He was good. He was patient. He was long-suffering.
And all of these things are true, aren’t they? Jesus is good, patient, and long-suffering.
And with that in mind, read this:
Matthew 21: 12 “And Jesus entered the temple and drove out all who sold and bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. 13 He said to them, ‘It is written, My house shall be called a house of prayer, but you make it a den of robbers.’”
I remember the utter shock I had when reading the Bible for the first time and coming across these verses. Who was this Jesus?
Gentle Jesus was also the Man who overturned tables and chairs. One version of this same account says that He actually made a whip and drove these people out.
As it turns out, Jesus isn’t tame at all! He’s not some two-dimensional half-man. He’s fully God, fully Man. He’s not a placating figure, simply trying to win friends and influence people. (Don’t get me wrong, I love that book.)
And yet, what I always knew is still true. He is good, patient, kind, and long-suffering. He drove out all that hindered love from the place of love. He turned over tables for love. He kicked over chairs, refusing to allow His Father’s house to be plundered.
Jesus is fully God, fully Man. He’s both-and. Not either-or.
Shocked by this new version of Jesus, I realized I needed an upgraded view of God. I needed an upgraded view of love. I was seeing Jesus as He is. Not a flat cardboard cut-out, but a living Savior. Not simple, but the very mystery of God made manifest.
He is captivating and unexpected. Never tame, but always good.
Deepening Faith: Reflective Journal Prompts
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