Third Week in Lent
Turning the Tables
Scripture: John 2:13-22
Monday, February 26
Today’s passage may be uncomfortable for some; it should be. In it we find what some might call an upset or angry Jesus; I just see him as being real. You see, when Jesus enters the temple he’s not only entering the religious center of Jewish life but also the center of Israel’s political system and economy. According to Dr. Obery M. Hendricks, Jr., “When we look at the practices that went on at the Jerusalem Temple in Jesus’ day, it is clear why Jesus was moved to invoke God’s judgment on it. Its activities and the priests who administered them had become inextricably intertwined with systemic appropriation and the goods and resources of the “least of these” while hiding behind “the Temple of the Lord.””
In essence, what Jesus did was “give a voice to the voiceless.” “Publicly and powerfully he articulated the people’s unspoken anger and resentment, not just to give vent to their feelings, but to empower them by giving them the inspiring thrill of hearing their own thoughts and spoken by someone just like them.”
In 2018 very little has changed. Every day we see the rich and powerful continue to amass more and more while the poor continue to be trampled upon by the actions and policies of the political and religious “elite.” As followers of Christ we are called to something different. Like Jesus, we are called to action and to “turn over the tables” of the modern day temples and centers of power. We do this in both word and deed by expressing our righteous indignation and committing ourselves to stand against the evils of Empire and the systemic injustices that continue to oppress and marginalize far too many today in society.
Prayer: God of justice and righteousness, help me not just believe in Jesus but to be more like him. On this day help me be more committed to stand against the unjust laws and policies that affect the poor and marginalized in society as well as those that enact them. May my love for “the least of these,” who are my sisters and brothers, lead me to “turn over tables” of injustice through your Son and our exemplar of love and justice in the world, Jesus the Christ.
– CJ Rodriguez