Now they were on the road, going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was going before them; and they were amazed. And as they followed they were afraid. (Mark 10:32)
The disciples can see something different about Jesus. He is on the road to Jerusalem and there is a new focus. There is an intentionality and fierce spirit burning within Him. They are amazed and frightened by it. Little do they know that this is the last week of Jesus’ earthly life. He has a work to do and it’s almost completed.
As Jesus enters Jerusalem, he heads first to the Temple and looks around. No words, no actions, no conversation. The Bible simply says Jesus “entered the Temple. He looked around, taking it all in.” What is He thinking? What is He planning? I think he pulled out his knife, picked up some leather straps and cut them of equal length and walked out.
That night while in Bethany, did he move away from dinner and start weaving the leather strands? As He braids the leather and tightens them, would the disciples have noticed that He is making a whip? Do they observe the fierceness of His attitude? Something is brewing within His heart.
When He had made a whip of cords, He drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen, and poured out the changers’ money and overturned the tables. And He said to those who sold doves, “Take these things away! Do not make My Father’s house a house of merchandise!” Then His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for Your house has eaten Me up.
Jesus enters the Temple with a concealed weapon! He opens up with a newly braided “whip of cords,” and drives out not only the people but even the sheep and oxen. Jesus runs into the Temple with the fierce focus of a bull rider as the gates open. He is a man on a mission. He is furious with the Jews for what they have done to His house of worship and prayer.
This is not exactly our Sunday School Jesus. Not exactly the caricature of Jesus we have grown up seeing in the pictures in our children’s Bibles. A kind of passive tanned California surfer boy with a beard. When was the last time our Children’s classes at church taught about the fierce focus of Jesus in the Temple?
The Jesus of Time, Newsweek, and in most of our churches today is as harmless as a clerk at a medicinal marijuana store—sweet, gentle, laid back, and probably a vegetarian. But that’s not the Jesus of the Bible. Jesus is fiercely focused. The Bibles says, “The Son of God entered the scene to abolish the Devil’s ways.” Laid back doesn’t abolish Satan’s ways! Jesus is more like Aragorn leading his men to the Black Gate of Mordor to lay siege to Sauron’s army. Let’s not forget Who He is and what He came to do.
On the Road,
For more information on Pastor Steve Holt and The Road: