2010-05-12 - Temple Clearing
In the Temple area, he saw merchants selling cattle, sheep, and doves for sacrifices; he also saw dealers at tables exchanging foreign money. Jesus made a whip from some ropes, and chased them all out of the Temple. He drove out the sheep and cattle, scattered the money changers coins over the floor, and turned over their tables. John 2:14-15 (NLT)
This weekend, I was mowing the grass at the far end of our farm. As fate or luck would have it, the left wheel on my large mower literally came off! I mean o-f-f! I jumped off to the right, as I just knew the mower was going to crush me in the ditch I was mowing beside. Obviously, all went well, but I immediately thought, I am going to have to spend a ton of money to have someone come out, lift this mower up, buy a new wheel, as the bolts had worn completely through the holes in the wheel, and I could never possibly fix it myself.
It was a long walk back to our barn. The more I walked, the more I prayed for an answer, the less fretful I became - and the more my brain focused on possible solutions. The walk was about 20 minutes, and when I got back and told my wife what had happened, she did the same thing I did. She immediately went through the worst possible scenarios. I said, lets not focus on the impossible, but rather do the possible. I grabbed the tool box, some washers and a hydraulic jack. The walk gave me time to formulate a plan to literally get out of this ditch. I was actually astonished, when we fixed everything in about 15 minutes.
There were two life lessons that day. Gods timing is always perfect. He put me at the far end of the farm, to make me walk quite a ways back - and more importantly - to take the time to not focus on what had happened, but rather on what could be accomplished. He taught me that sometimes we need to step back and not react immediately, but rather take time to pray and weigh out all the solutions to our problems. God also wants to move us from focusing on the impossible, and to start focusing on the possible. We get so mired up in the seemingly impossible, that we cant see what is possible with Gods help.
Notice how Jesus spent the time making the whip. Can you see him slowly braiding the ropes together? Imagine what was going through his mind. I think the human side was saying, Take this whip, and beat these people silly! And the godly spiritual side was saying, now lets think this thing this through; lets do what is right, and what will please the Father.
When I first read this passage, I often thought, way to go Jesus! Clear the Temple. Get rid of the den of thieves! But now I wonder just how long he spent making the whip. I know he did not have a kneejerk sinful reaction to what was going on in the temple, but rather he put a very calculated and well-thought-out plan into action. He made a well-thought-out decision to do what was just, fair and right. So, next time you face something in life that seem without a solution, stop, pray and take time to allow God to work in you. Let God do what only God can do, and then you go and do what only you can do with Gods help. God never sets us up to fail. He allows situations in our lives to happen, to teach us and build us up to be more like Christ. Dont miss the teachable moments God lays before you.