The passage often cited is the one where Jesus walks into the temple and loses it on those who’ve set up shop (Matthew 21:12-13).

He did this, because they were extorting travelers and (especially) non-Jews, while generally acting as a barrier for those who wanted to worship.

The question for us is: when should we act like this?

The answer: almost never.

Jesus did this at the very end of his ministry (about a week before his crucifixion). For all of his life, and even 99% of his public ministry, he watched this go on.

The key here was the timing. This came right after his triumphant entry into the city–when he entered for the first time as a king.

When he flipped the tables, he was making a very specific point: this is not how God’s kingdom is.

For the rest of us, this means it’s probably almost never a good idea to do something that causes those watching to pull out their phones and record.

We’re still supposed to be passionate (and active) about injustices.

We still do all that’s in our power, but we do it remembering that God said, “vengeance is mine” (Romans 12:14-21).

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