Saturday, April 21, 2012

Who's who

I was just reading the story of Jesus clearing the temple (Matt 21:12-16; Mark 11:15-18; Luke 19:45-47; John 2:13-16) and I have been trying to discern just what I can learn regarding marriage, from this passage.  It seems to be a significant story, but I have had a hard time fitting this into my relational paradigm--or perhaps, fitting my relational paradigm to this example of Christ and the church.

Then, I had a thought: I need to first figure out who is 'the church' in this story.

It's easy to presume that the people in the temple are 'the church' and that he is angry with 'the church' and taking that anger out on 'the church.'  But, further along in these passages, it talks about 'the chief priests and teachers of the law' trying to think of a way to kill him.  These were people in the temple, and around the temple, but are they 'the church' that Paul talks about in Ephesians chapter 5?  The more I think about it, the more I would say, 'no.'

The church = willing followers of Jesus

So, if the church is made up of the willing followers of Jesus, then what do we see about the way he is treating them in this scenario?  Well, my NIV Study Bible says that in the outer courtyard, there were merchants selling animals for the Passover at unfair prices.  They were taking advantage of all of the pilgrims who had taken the trek to Jerusalem to celebrate Passover.  The merchants were not 'the church.' They were taking advantage of 'the church.'

Jesus is protecting 'the church.'  He ruffled some feathers and, I dare say, offended some rather prominent individuals--to the point that they wanted to kill him!  But, he stopped them from trampling His followers.

Note to self: Risk some ruffled feathers.   Stand up for my family.

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