Warner Salmon painted his famous Head of Christ back in 1941. It is so popular that many consider it the true likeness of Jesus. Others say it is too meek, mild, and western. At least one biblical incident portrays Christ, not as meek, but as strong, tough, and zealous for justice. It was at a Jewish Passover celebration. In the Temple area, He saw merchants selling cattle, sheep, and doves for sacrifice; he also saw moneychangers cheating people. He made a whip from some ropes and chased all of them out of the Temple. He drove out the sheep and cattle, scattered the moneychangers’ coins over the floor, and turned over their tables. Then going over to those who sold doves, he told them, “Get these things out of here. Stop turning my Father’s house into a market place!” In Mark’s Gospel, Jesus says they had turned the Temple into a den of thieves. Jesus used his authority and physical strength to overturn tables and chase merchants out of the Temple. Yes, Jesus is humble and compassionate, but He is equally zealous for justice. He is disturbed when people mistreat others, when the rich rip off the poor, and find devious ways of justifying their actions. God’s people must always stand with Jesus in resisting injustice wherever they see it.
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