I’m going to venture a guess that if you’ve studied the Bible very much, you likely already know what we’re discussing today based on the title. Jesus shocked those in the Temple marketplace. He came in, brandishing a whip, turning over tables and benches and letting those present know just how upset he was with the situation. You see, people from all walks of life would make the yearly trek to Jerusalem for Passover. And if they hadn’t brought a sacrifice, well, there were brokers willing to exchange their currency and sell them a sacrifice. Sell them a sacrifice —- how bitter that must have sounded to Jesus. Here he was just days away from being the ultimate Passover sacrifice watching and wondering how much the money changers would consider His sacrifice to be worth. How much do we deem it to be worth?
Jesus reacted with a holy anger. And there are times when He asks us to be angry. He may ask us to speak out and come out from behind our hashtag campaigns. Perhaps the next time you feel anger about corruption and injustice, you should ask God what He wants you to do with that anger. Not everything is protest worthy, but neither is nothing worthy of protest.
Today, we are called to fast from apathy. Apathy describes an emotional disconnect from life in general and suffering in particular. The antonyms of apathy are not activism, absorption or even emotionalism, but rather sympathy, sensitivity, and concern. Taking action because there is a need is very different from taking action because there is a God. The first is emotion driven while the second is led by loving listening and dependence-inspired discipline. Choose carefully what you are willing to die for because you can only die once.
17-18 That stirred up a hornet’s nest of questions among the disciples: “What’s he talking about: ‘In a day or so you’re not going to see me, but then in another day or so you will see me’? And, ‘Because I’m on my way to the Father’? What is this ‘day or so’? We don’t know what he’s talking about.”
19-20 Jesus knew they were dying to ask him what he meant, so he said, “Are you trying to figure out among yourselves what I meant when I said, ‘In a day or so you’re not going to see me, but then in another day or so you will see me’? Then fix this firmly in your minds: You’re going to be in deep mourning while the godless world throws a party. You’ll be sad, very sad, but your sadness will develop into gladness.
21-23 “When a woman gives birth, she has a hard time, there’s no getting around it. But when the baby is born, there is joy in the birth. This new life in the world wipes out memory of the pain. The sadness you have right now is similar to that pain, but the coming joy is also similar. When I see you again, you’ll be full of joy, and it will be a joy no one can rob from you. You’ll no longer be so full of questions.
23-24 “This is what I want you to do: Ask the Father for whatever is in keeping with the things I’ve revealed to you. Ask in my name, according to my will, and he’ll most certainly give it to you. Your joy will be a river overflowing its banks!
25-28 “I’ve used figures of speech in telling you these things. Soon I’ll drop the figures and tell you about the Father in plain language. Then you can make your requests directly to him in relation to this life I’ve revealed to you. I won’t continue making requests of the Father on your behalf. I won’t need to. Because you’ve gone out on a limb, committed yourselves to love and trust in me, believing I came directly from the Father, the Father loves you directly. First, I left the Father and arrived in the world; now I leave the world and travel to the Father.”
29-30 His disciples said, “Finally! You’re giving it to us straight, in plain talk—no more figures of speech. Now we know that you know everything—it all comes together in you. You won’t have to put up with our questions anymore. We’re convinced you came from God.”
31-33 Jesus answered them, “Do you finally believe? In fact, you’re about to make a run for it—saving your own skins and abandoning me. But I’m not abandoned. The Father is with me. I’ve told you all this so that trusting me, you will be unshakable and assured, deeply at peace. In this godless world you will continue to experience difficulties. But take heart! I’ve conquered the world.”