Read: John 2:13-22
If you were to look at my Instagram, you’d only see a small part of me. You’d see for the most part the carefully picked, edited, and posed side of me. I try to be as real as I can, but it’s still not a full representation of who I am. There are many aspects of my character and personality that a lot of people don’t get to see. Classmates see a calm, stressed, and tired girl, while close friends and family see an awkward, outgoing girl who loves to dance. Both are me. There are many different sides to who I am, just as there are to all of us.
Jesus too has many different aspects of His character. I tend to see people focus on one side of Him. They focus on His kind, soft-spoken, and gentle character. This is a part of who Jesus is, but not all. Jesus wasn’t afraid to stand up for truth, even when it offended people. He was honest and cared about justice. He got angry and sometimes even pretty harsh. He was all of these characteristics in righteousness, but He wasn’t only gentle. He had a complex character that was all good.
In chapter 2, we see the gentle side of Jesus, as well as His righteous anger. He didn’t tolerate the degrading of the temple, His father’s house. In verse 14, John writes, “In the temple he found those who were selling oxen and sheep and pigeons, and the money-changers sitting there.” They were using the temple as a marketplace rather than a sacred place of worship. Jesus became rightfully angry.
Verses 15-16 describe His reaction, “And making a whip of cords, he drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and oxen. And he poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables. And he told those who sold the pigeons, ‘Take these things away; do not make my Father’s house a house of trade.’” God is worthy of respect and honor. Jesus saw what was happening as an insult to God and was outraged, so He stood up for justice.
This passage reveals an important part of Jesus’ character and points to Him as the Messiah. Verse 17 mentions the prophecy found in the Old Testament in Psalm 69:9 that says, “Zeal for your house will consume me.” Here he was fulfilling that prophecy.
As well He foreshadowed the crucifixion. The Jewish leaders came to Jesus asking Him to show them a sign to prove He had the authority to act this way. “Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” His disciples later realized He meant His body was the temple and pointed to His crucifixion. He was revealing that He was the awaited Messiah. He was displaying who he is to the world.
Take time today to meditate on who God is. Praise Him for both His gentleness as well as His discipline, His goodness as well as His righteousness. Ask Him to help you become more like Him in all ways.