Yesterday, we saw how Jesus told the church to pray. In today's post, we are going to continue looking at Jesus interacting with the church...and this post may upset some people.
The amygdala is an almond shaped neuro-structure in the brain. When people get stressed, the amygdala sends a signal to produce adrenaline. This is the "fight or flight" effect. During this time, the higher functions of the brain do not work. One has to wait until the adrenaline is absorbed in order to "think".
My amygdala fires whenever someone tries to correct me. It takes a conscious effort to look past my need to feel right in the short-term and look towards the Long Term. Whether the person is correct or not, I eventually appreciate the intent to make me better. I think on how I can grow and use the comment to become more profitable. If I’m a LEADER, I can bear pain and respond as a servant.
Likewise, I realize this post is going to fire some amygdala, most probably if the reader is a pastor. If the correction doesn’t apply, then they can continue their journey guilt-free. However, I would hope they would look at this as an opportunity to think on how they can grow and become more profitable. I believe church LEADERSHIP is the most demanding job that exists. Consequently, it shouldn’t be taken lightly.
Jesus was very adamant about the importance of good church leadership. He realized this was the key to helping people make it beyond Heaven. For this reason, Jesus was very confrontational with the religious leaders of His time. Let's look more closely at the ONLY story involving Jesus getting PHYSICAL...
"And Jesus entered into Jerusalem, and into the temple: and when he had looked round about upon all things, and now the eventide was come, he went out unto Bethany with the twelve. And on the morrow, when they were come from Bethany, he was hungry: And seeing a fig tree afar off having leaves, he came, if haply he might find any thing thereon: and when he came to it, he found nothing but leaves; for the time of figs was not yet. And Jesus answered and said unto it, No man eat fruit of thee hereafter for ever. And his disciples heard it." (Mark 11:11-14)
Jesus goes into the temple and LOOKS ROUND ABOUT UPON ALL THINGS. Then Jesus goes to Bethany with the disciples. The next day as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus sees a fig tree from a distance that APPEARS to bear fruit because it has leaves. Jesus' expectation is that the tree has fruit EVEN THOUGH it WASN'T the time of figs yet. When Jesus sees that the tree doesn't meet His expectations He declares that no man eat fruit from that tree forever. The disciples even heard Him say it.
Remember, last week we covered judging others. God values us by profitability...not by short-term APPEARANCE. Jesus is valuing (judging) the tree by profitability. In fact, He punishes the tree because of profitable APPEARANCE!
What a strange story...what does THAT have to do with what happens next?
"And they come to Jerusalem: and Jesus went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves; And would not suffer that any man should carry any vessel through the temple. And he taught, saying unto them, Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer? but ye have made it a den of thieves. And the scribes and chief priests heard it, and sought how they might destroy him: for they feared him, because all the people was astonished at his doctrine. And when even was come, he went out of the city." (Mark 11:15-19)
First of all, notice this is the NEXT DAY. Jesus did NOT walk into the temple and immediately judge everyone. He looked round about upon ALL things the DAY BEFORE. The Bible doesn't record that Jesus prayed the night before and got God's blessing on what He did. However, Jesus did say He ONLY and ALWAYS does what the Father taught Him. The key point here is that Jesus' actions are intentional and thought out. They occur a day after He knows what is going on.
Second, Jesus response is PHYSICAL. In fact, this is the ONLY time Jesus responded in a PHYSICAL fashion! AND IT WAS IN CHURCH!
In an earlier post, we talked about how every job is a mixture of Understanding and Task. We saw how a BOSS can't manage understanding aspects...only task aspects. We saw how a LEADER is the only one who can manage understanding aspects...and because of this, they are able to manage task aspects morally because they always do it in response to the person being led...not as a crutch.
Why did Jesus get physical? There are a number of reasons:
1)Jesus was dealing with people who wouldn’t think (task) and were clearly in the wrong. Notice, his physical actions were against inanimate objects (table, vessels) and not people. Jesus didn't hurt anyone physically.
2)Jesus had authority over His Father’s house.
3)It was also His responsibility to help the people of His time in much the way we saw (in an earlier post) when a parent helps a child avoid getting hit by a car.
4)It was His responsibility to teach us.
The passage says the scribes and chief priests sought how they might destroy Him BECAUSE the people were astonished at Jesus' doctrine.
Jesus is sending us a message and it’s not to go into church and get Physical. We don’t have this responsibility or authority. Jesus said the church was made to be a house of prayer. This means we OUGHT to go there to exchange spiritual value with God and others. We OUGHT to learn from God how to operate in our uniqueness so we are able to have Fellowship with other unique members. We OUGHT to be profitable!
However, Jesus saw people exchanging Physical value with each other through the moneychangers, instead of people exchanging Spiritual value with God and others. Jesus wants us to realize that using the church to drive the Physical, for whatever reason, will not be tolerated.
The temple APPEARED to be about God...but on closer inspection Jesus said it was not truly profitable.
"And in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots. And Peter calling to remembrance saith unto him, Master, behold, the fig tree which thou cursedst is withered away. And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God." (Mark 11:20-22)
Jesus was upset at the hyprocrisy (of the fig tree and the church)...and this was the ONLY time Jesus responded PHYSICALLY so that we are have no excuse: Jesus does NOT want us to value APPEARANCE over profitability.