Jesus Clearing the Temple by El Greco

WWJD? Comparing Jesus Clearing the Temple to the Riots is Wrong

The other day — in the middle of #Riots2020 and #GeorgeFloyedProtests — on Twitter, “WWJD” — “What Would Jesus Do” — was trending. Considering that I had used that phrase a few years ago a lot, it piqued my curiosity. Clicking on to it, I was shocked to see people saying that Jesus would do the same thing — destroy property to prove a point or injustice — because He had cleared the Temple in Jerusalem. Stop right there! I didn’t respond then, because I didn’t have time to get into a Twitter argument. Plus, it takes much more explaining than just 280 characters.

I explain fully why Jesus got angry and threw over the tables of the temple money changers in this article from my “A Walk Through Holy Week” series. So, I’m not going to repeat myself again. Suffice it to say, that Jesus was angry at the miss use of the sacred temple grounds. Jesus said…

“The Scriptures declare, ‘My Temple will be called a house of prayer for all nations,’ but you have turned it into a den of thieves.”

Mark 11:17

Saying that, He quoted both Isaiah 56:7 and Jeremiah 7:11.

Jesus Submitted to Authority

Jesus is God. That being said, Jesus could have…

  1. Wiped out the whole Roman army, officers, emperors with His voice. Nope, he didn’t do that.
  2. He could have made all the Pharisees, Sadducees and Jewish leaders all contract leprosy. He didn’t.
  3. He could have instantly made everyone that heard Him understand that His Kingdom was not of this earth, but of Heaven, but He didn’t.

Why? That was not His purpose for coming down to earth! He came to save sinners…

When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners.

Romans 5:6 NLT

He [Jesus] came into the very world he created, but the world didn’t recognize him. He came to his own people, and even they rejected him. But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God.

John 1:10-13 NLT

Jesus, being God, had the power to stop all the torture He endured, but He didn’t. He was betrayed by one of His followers, Judas. He was also betrayed by one of His closest friends, Peter.

The portrayal of Jesus through the Gospel of John, is one of the best biblical videos I have seen…

Jesus could have saved himself, but He didn’t…

Two others, both criminals, were led out to be executed with him. When they came to a place called The Skull, they nailed him to the cross. And the criminals were also crucified—one on his right and one on his left.

Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.” And the soldiers gambled for his clothes by throwing dice.

The crowd watched and the leaders scoffed. “He saved others,” they said, “let him save himself if he is really God’s Messiah, the Chosen One.” The soldiers mocked him, too, by offering him a drink of sour wine. They called out to him, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!” A sign was fastened above him with these words: “This is the King of the Jews.”

One of the criminals hanging beside him scoffed, “So you’re the Messiah, are you? Prove it by saving yourself—and us, too, while you’re at it!”

But the other criminal protested, “Don’t you fear God even when you have been sentenced to die? We deserve to die for our crimes, but this man hasn’t done anything wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.”

And Jesus replied, “I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

Luke 23:32-43 NLT

Now, given the horrible torture that Jesus went through — an innocent man killed for no reason except that the Pharisees, Saducees and Jewish leaders felt their power threatened — wouldn’t you think that Jesus’ followers would be angry? Wouldn’t it make sense that the apostles, disciples, believers, and followers would be enraged enough to burn the homes and businesses of the ones who killed their leader? Sure, that would make sense. But that’s not what happened.

Jesus, after the Resurrection appeared to His disciples and what was the first thing He said?

“Peace be with you.”

Luke 24:36; John 20:19, 21 & 26

“Peace be with you.” Does that sound like a man who would condone the violence that is going on right now in American cities?

A Call to ALL American Christians

Again I pray Colossians 3:12-17

God, you chose us to be the holy people you love, clothe us with your tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Help us to make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends us. Thank you, Lord for forgiving us, so we must forgive others. Above all, help us to clothe ourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in our hearts. For as members of one body we are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.

Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill our lives. Help us to teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom the Holy Spirit gives. As we sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts. Help us also, Lord to no matter what we do or say, to do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father. I pray this in Jesus’ mighty name, Amen!

This is what Jesus would do. Amen.

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