Jesus Overturning The “Tables”

Then they came to Jerusalem.  And [Jesus] entered the temple and began to drive out those who were selling and those who were buying in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves…  (Mk. 11:15)

The most unpopular thing I did in 30 years of ministry was to ban the sale of mimosas (champagne and orange juice) on Sunday mornings.  The night I announced that decision, the “mimosa-supporters” started a series of petition drives to send me packing.

One of the stories that sustained me during this difficult season was Jesus overturning the tables in the temple.  I felt called to overturn this practice for the comfort of the recovering alcoholics, and for the health of the community.  When someone tried to persuade me that selling mimosas was good for evangelism, I knew they had to go.

Was I right to banish them?  Yes.  Could I’ve been more diplomatic?  That’s a harder question.

Sometimes diplomacy is called for.  Sometimes it isn’t.  Sometimes the tables must be overturned.  Sometimes things need to be radically altered.

Removing the mimosas nearly cost me my job, and it did cause many sleepless nights.  As disciples of Jesus, we must do what He calls us to do, come what may.

Is there some situation in your life where the tables need to be overturned?  Could it be a routine at home, or a personal habit, or a policy at work?  If so, I encourage you to find the courage to overturn the tables, so that you can disrupt the routines, habits, policies, or practices that aren’t faithful, helpful, or constructive.

Jesus overturned the tables in the temple in order to cleanse it.  May we follow in His footsteps when our temples—the temples of self, home, work, or church—need cleansing.

No one was more tender than Jesus when tenderness was called for.  And no one was more fierce than Jesus when fierceness was needed.

Reflection Questions:

  1. Are there any “tables” in your life that Jesus needs to overturn? If so, which ones?  Are you willing for Jesus to do what you need?
  1. Are there any “tables” around you that you might need to overturn?  If so, do you have the courage to do so?  If you don’t, are you willing to ask Jesus for what you need?
  1. When and how have you experienced the tenderness of Jesus? And, when and how have you experienced the fierceness of Jesus?

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