Wednesday, May 3, 2017

The Wine and the Whip of Jesus

The second chapter of John is filled with contrasts. It starts out with Jesus changing water into wine and ends with Jesus using a whip to clear out the moneychangers from the Temple.

There seem to be two camps in the Church. On one hand, you have those who love a wine making Jesus who is mellow and likes to go to parties and smile a lot, but never challenge anyone about anything. The other group quickly reads over the uncomfortable (to them) section of Scripture about Jesus providing more wine for a party to get to their version of a Jesus that is always ticked off at people and culture. Neither one is an accurate portrait of the Lord. He does like to go to parties and some things will ignite His passion for purity.

It is so important to let Jesus define Himself and then adjust our reality to that revelation. It is too easy to create a Jesus of our own making and then invite Him into our life to serve our image of how we want to see Him. Jesus doesn’t work that way. Jesus invites us to come and follow Him and let our misunderstandings about Him fall away in the journey. He forms us – we don’t form Him.

You have to be OK with a Jesus who will have a glass of wine at a wedding party while smiling and laughing like a real person. You also have to embrace a Jesus filled with such passion and righteous anger that He turns over the tables of our misunderstanding and chases us away from our acts of ignorance to give us time to process the stupidity of our actions. This is the Jesus of John 2. In one hand He holds a glass of wine and in the other, He holds a whip. Both are acts of love and both are the evidence that God is in our midst.

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