Grant’s Rants on Jesus being a Hunted Renegade
Jesus operated in enemy territory.
His life story begins with genocide – the massacre of the innocents, King Herod’s attempt to murder Jesus by ordering the systematic execution of all young boys around Bethlehem. Picture ethnic cleansing as the 20th century saw in Bosnia, Rwanda, or Burma. Atrocity, the ground soaked with the blood of children who five minutes earlier were laughing and playing.
God, knowing this is about to strike, sends an angel to warn Joseph and Mary: “An angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. ‘Get up’, he said, ‘take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.’ So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, where he stayed until the death of Herod. (Matthew 2:13-15)
Jesus’ dangerous game of cat and mouse continues when he begins his ministry as an adult:
– “Jesus went around in Galilee, purposely staying away from Judea because the Jews there were waiting to take his life.” (John 7:1)
– “The Pharisees went out and plotted how they might kill Jesus. Aware of this, Jesus withdrew from that place.” (Matthew 12:14,15)
– “Again they tried to seize him, but he escaped the grasp. Then Jesus went back across the Jordan to the place where John had been baptizing in the early days.” (John 10:39,40)
Jesus was a hunted renegade!
And what of the thunderstorm He created at The Temple: “The Passover of the Jews was near, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple He found people selling cattle, sheep, and doves, and the moneychangers seated at their tables. Making a whip of cords, He drove all of them out of the temple, both the sheep and the cattle. He also poured out the coins of the moneychangers and overturned their tables. He told those who were selling … ‘Stop making my Father’s house a marketplace!’ ” (John 2:13-17)
First, Jesus had observed these shenanigans, and it made Him furious. Then He takes the time to make a weapon. Having found the cords, he had the patience and forethought to weave them together effectively so as to make a usable whip.… There’s time enough here to cool off if this is merely an outburst of anger. But no, this is a planned and sustained aggression.
The Bible then says he uses that whip to drive all of them out of the temple… Picture cattle and sheep running for their lives, crashing down the court corrals, their hooves sliding frantically on the tiles, making them even more desperate. We have a stampede here.
Then it says he poured out the coins of the moneychangers and sent their tables tumbling. The moneychangers – think “men who make their living through extortion” – were sitting at those tables. Jesus doesn’t permit them to gather their money and move off and or orderly fashion. He dumps the coins. This is explosive. You’ve probably had a small handful of change fall off the counter – they burst in every direction like a jar of marbles. Imagine the chaos of hundreds and hundreds of coins erupting off of the stone floors.
Now, layer all of this together. – Someone screaming “Fire!” in a casino would not be far from the reality.
There is nothing like arrogant religious falsehood to arouse this part of Jesus!
This is our Jesus.
[Excerpts from “Beautiful Outlaw” by John Eldredge]