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Was Jesus a Meek Lion?

22 Sep
from Google Images

from Google Images

Isn’t that a contradiction—a meek lion?[1] Yes, I believe it is, but somehow the meekness of the Jesus who received and blessed the little children— saying that such were the inhabitants of the Kingdom of God (Mark 10:14-16), morphed into the lion who was the Jesus who cast out those who commercialized or showed no respect for the House of God (Mark 11:15-17). We are often told of the meek Jesus, but, strangely, seldom hear about the Lion of the house of Judah. Today’s ‘political correctness’ loves the meek Jesus but cannot tolerate Jesus, the Lion.

The point is that Jesus, the God of the New Testament, got angry. Nevertheless, seen from the perspective of his casting out of the Temple courts those who had no respect for his Father’s House, he displays the wrath of God in a positive light. He gets angry because he cares. God is not a being who cannot be moved with emotion. We, after all, have been created in his image (Genesis 1:27) and having and dealing with emotion is part of that image. If one can understand an American patriot would be moved over a flag-burning protest, one should be able to understand Jesus’ motives in casting out of the Temple those who displayed their disrespect for God—in what was supposed to be God’s own home (on earth).

I would think the real question is why aren’t Christians of today noted for cleaning house, being angry over the God-hucksters who exploit our brethren for gain? If we claim to follow Christ, if we believe we have been created in the image of God, why are we so meek when it comes to doing a lion’s job? WWJD in our situation has never been so ignored. Is it because we’re simply afraid of being labeled a modern inquisitor or something similar?

Expressing anger isn’t necessarily sinful (Ephesians 4:26). The difference lay in one controlling his emotions (Proverbs 16:32), especially his tongue (James 1:19; 3:1-10). The person given to anger is given to destruction, but he who is in control of himself is able to calmly reply to a precarious situation with measured emotion that keeps the peace (Proverbs 15:18), being mindful of what is important, and at the same time knowing what offenses to overlook (Proverbs 19:11; cf. Exodus 34:6-7). God doesn’t get upset over every wrong committed, and neither should we, but there are matters important enough that a stand should be made. Jesus stood his ground and so should we when the time comes, remembering that righteous anger and noble jealousy springs out of love and concern for others, not from our immaturity or hurt pride.

Today’s new atheists have created a false dichotomy between the rule of God (the Kingdom of God in the Bible) and men’s best interests. The God of the Bible is portrayed by them as a megalomaniac,[2] yet, rather than seeking to govern our every thought and activity, he pursues a relationship with men through covenant making. According to the Westminster Shorter Catechism (1647) the chief end of man is “to glorify God and enjoy him forever.” This presupposes that God’s desires and human well being are harmonious rather than in conflict.

The new atheist tends to see the God of the Bible as the divine cop in the sky and views him as a hypocritical moralist out to ruin one’s day. He doesn’t see God as one who wants men to live joyful lives as Jesus claims (John 15:9-12). Yet, if God exists, it doesn’t make sense to ignore him. That would be like the ostrich that hides his head in the sand when it doesn’t want to face reality. God is real, and we need to face up to the fact that his jealousy and anger on our behalf is for our good (cf. John 10:10).

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[1] As I said HERE, this current theme about “making sense of the Old Testament God” is based upon the book: Is God a Moral Monster by Paul Copan. These are my thoughts about his book. He may or may not agree with the impression his book has made upon me, but I thoroughly enjoyed reading what Paul wrote and recommend his book to anyone who is looking for a good read concerning defending our faith.

[2] Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion (Ealing, Bantam Press, 2006), page 31

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Posted by on September 22, 2015 in Kingdom of God

 

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