The classroom was in chaos. Students refused to sit at their desks. They laughed and threw paper wads across the room. The substitute teacher tried in vain to call them to order, but the students made a mockery of academics. When her efforts had no effect, the teacher called the main office. Minutes later a tall man with a military bearing entered the room. Instantly the students returned to their desks and sat quietly. The school principal spoke with authority.
When Jesus entered the temple courtyard in Jerusalem, he found a similar scene. Instead of people focused on worship, he saw merchants hawking their goods: sheep, cattle, doves. Moneychangers charged exorbitant fees of those who entered the house of God. The disciple John described this scene in detail in John 2:15f.
Anger surged through Jesus. He fashioned a whip of cords, perhaps from the band tied around his own waist. With his own hands gripping the rope, he whirled this way and that. Soon a cacophony of noise filled the air. Sheep bleated. Cattle bolted in confusion. Men shouted and rushed about trying to corral their merchandise, still dodging the cords flailing through the air. Birds fluttered in upside-down cages. Dropping his impromptu whip, Jesus’ hands gripped the edge of a table and flipped it over. Coins spilled on to the floor and clattered in every direction.
When he was done, Jesus stood breathing hard, his heart pounding, his fists still clenched, his nostrils flaring. “You must not turn my Father’s house into a marketplace!” he declared.
This was God’s house and Jesus was prepared to defend it. What about you and me? We know difficult times are coming and those who disregard the holiness of God’s Word make a mockery of Christian values. How will we defend our faith?