Turning the Tables

When Jesus overturned the merchants’ tables in the temple (Matt. 21), it was out of passion for his Father’s house—reminding people what it was truly for, and who they were in him. For his entire ministry, Jesus was clear about love, including loving and blessing those who hate and mistreat you (Matt. 5). So this ardent act wasn’t to give you permission to hate and condemn anyone you judge as dishonoring God. It was to remind you to give him permission to overturn anything in your life that isn’t his, and restore you as his house of prayer when you’ve dishonored yourself.

Injustice, corruption, and greed are indeed huge problems in this world, but if you find all you really have to transform them into justice, honor, and blessing is your own self-righteousness, you may want to ask God to flip your tables first.

“Our love for others is our grateful response to the love God first demonstrated to us. If anyone boasts, ‘I love God,’ but then hates his brother or sister, he is a liar. If he won’t love the person he can see, how can he love the God he can’t? The command we have from Christ about love is clear: loving God includes loving people. You can’t separate them” (1 John 4:19-21).

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