When Did Jesus Speak Up? (Y1.T2.D39)
Updated: Apr 14
Unsplash; "Brett Jordan"
Let me warn you—this post might make you uncomfortable. I honestly struggled while writing it for fear of those who might reject God's message because I didn't wrap it in popular propaganda.
In our previous post, we read what Jesus said to those who didn't believe in him; "He who rejects me, and doesn’t receive my sayings, has one who judges him. The word that I spoke will judge him in the last day" (John 12:47).
With that said, Jesus did rebuke the bad behavior he witnessed by both believers and non-believers. In today's passages, he turns over the money-changers' tables (Matthew 21:12) in the same way he did at the start of his ministry (John 2:13–15).
So how can I apply this to my daily life? I mean, I don't condone the following profit-making individuals:
Reporters, on credible news stations, who lie outright to satiate those watching rather than report unpopular facts
Politicians who deny the existence of verifiable events, like school shootings, while collecting kickbacks from lobbyists
Social media influencers who promote lies and hate over truth and kindness
But what can I do about it? Certainly, God isn't asking me to charge into misbehaving profit-making organizations and upset some furniture, is he?
No, noise added to noise goes unheard. We're called to do something much harder—quietly address those we know personally, who repeat political propaganda.
Of course, this could lead to friends and family members disowning me over their preferred ideation. Why not stay quiet?
A Lutheran Pastor in Germany who survived World War II provides the answer. His poem "First They Came" is on display in the Permanent Exhibition of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum:
First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—
because I was not a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—
because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
Here is a section of Martin Niemöller's history found on Poem Analysis:
In 1937 Neimöller was arrested by the Nazis and eventually sent to Dachau. He was freed in 1945 and became a leading voice for peace after the war. The poem was part of a speech he gave in 1946 at the Confessing Church in Frankfurt.
If I'm a follower of Jesus, I'm called to do what he did. And Jesus asked us first to love God with all we have and to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. He provided the parable of the good Samaritan to illustrate that our neighbor isn't only those like us—or even those we like. As people who are called to love, we have no choice but to stand against hate.
And like Jesus, we should speak against money-making organizations—including some churches—that injure rather than serve.
What Loving Truth Should We Support Today?
15 They came to Jerusalem, (Mark 11:15a)
16 He would not allow anyone to carry a container through the temple. (Mark 11:16)
1 Yahweh says,
and do what is right,
for my salvation is near
and my righteousness will soon be revealed.
2 Blessed is the man who does this,
and the son of man who holds it fast;
who keeps the Sabbath without profaning it
and keeps his hand from doing any evil.”
3 Let no foreigner who has joined himself to Yahweh speak, saying,
“Yahweh will surely separate me from his people.”
Do not let the eunuch say, “Behold, I am a dry tree.”
4 For Yahweh says, “To the eunuchs who keep my Sabbaths,
choose the things that please me,
and hold fast to my covenant,
5 I will give them in my house and within my walls a memorial and a name better than of sons and of daughters.
I will give them an everlasting name that will not be cut off.
6 Also the foreigners who join themselves to Yahweh
to serve him,
and to love Yahweh’s name,
to be his servants,
everyone who keeps the Sabbath from profaning it,
and holds fast my covenant,
7a I will bring these to my holy mountain,
and make them joyful in my house of prayer.
Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be accepted on my altar;
for (Isaiah 56:1–7a)
8 The Lord Yahweh, who gathers the outcasts of Israel, says,
“I will yet gather others to him,
in addition to his own who are gathered.” (Isaiah 56:8)
1 The word that came to Jeremiah from Yahweh, saying, 2 “Stand in the gate of Yahweh’s house, and proclaim this word there, and say, ‘Hear Yahweh’s word, all you of Judah, who enter in at these gates to worship Yahweh.’”
3 Yahweh of Armies, the God of Israel says, “Amend your ways and your doings, and I will cause you to dwell in this place. 4 Don’t trust in lying words, saying, ‘Yahweh’s temple, Yahweh’s temple, Yahweh’s temple, are these.’ 5 For if you thoroughly amend your ways and your doings, if you thoroughly execute justice between a man and his neighbor; 6 if you don’t oppress the foreigner, the fatherless, and the widow, and don’t shed innocent blood in this place, and don’t walk after other gods to your own hurt; 7 then I will cause you to dwell in this place, in the land that I gave to your fathers, from of old even forever more. 8 Behold, you trust in lying words that can’t profit. 9 Will you steal, murder, commit adultery, swear falsely, burn incense to Baal, and walk after other gods that you have not known, 10 then come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, ‘We are delivered,’ that you may do all these abominations? 11a Has this house, which is called by my name, (Jeremiah 7:1–11a)
11c Behold, I myself have seen it,” says Yahweh. (Jeremiah 7:11c)
14 The lame and the blind came to him in the temple, and he healed them.15 But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children who were crying in the temple and saying, “Hosanna to the son of David!” they were indignant, 16 and said to him, “Do you hear what these are saying?”
Jesus said to them, “Yes. Did you never read, (Matthew 21:14–16a)
1 Yahweh, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory above the heavens! (Psalm 8:1)
2b you have established strength,
because of your adversaries, that you might silence the enemy and the avenger.
3 When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars, which you have ordained;
4 what is man, that you think of him?
What is the son of man, that you care for him?
5 For you have made him a little lower than the angels,
and crowned him with glory and honor.
6 You make him ruler over the works of your hands.
You have put all things under his feet:
7 All sheep and cattle,
yes, and the animals of the field,
8 the birds of the sky, the fish of the sea,
and whatever passes through the paths of the seas.
9 Yahweh, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth! (Psalm 8:2b–9)
47a He was teaching daily in the temple, (Luke 19:47a)
18b For they feared him, because all the multitude was astonished at his teaching. (Mark 11:18b)
48 They couldn’t find what they might do, for all the people hung on to every word that he said. (Luke 19:48)
19 When evening came, he went out of the city. (Mark 11:19)
17 He left them and went out of the city to Bethany, and camped there. (Matthew 21:17)
You told me in this world I would find trouble, but to fear not for you have overcome the world (John 16:3). I confess it is scary to step into the middle of a dogfight that has nothing to do with me. But I'm feeling convicted by your life. You did not give me the spirit of fear but of power, love, and self-control (2 Timothy 1:7). Give me the strength to be a good Samaritan. Give me a voice to speak in the cause of all who are left desolate. I want to open my mouth, judge righteously, and serve justice to the poor and needy (Proverbs 31:8–9).
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