A heading in Salvationist caught my eye recently, writes Major Kathy Woodhouse.
It was the title of an article by John Coutts and read, ‘We have a King who tips up tables’. It was, of course, referring to the account of Jesus entering the temple fn Jerusalem, not long after his arrival in that city on a donkey and surrounded by cheering crowds.
Can you imagine the scene? To us, in the 21st century, it can be rather shocking to picture the calm and poised Jesus that we have composed acting like a football hooligan. But where does our perspective originate? How have we come to adopt the ‘meek and mild’ Jesus of the children’s song? It might be said that the song is itself outdated – well, I want to suggest that if it is, so is the image of an unruffled and impassive Saviour.
Jesus knew the Scriptures well and would have been well versed in the prophecy of Isaiah and the revelation that God was interested in more than the ritual of religion and the maintaining of standards. He was more interested in people than principles and this is what, I believe, was Jesus purpose; to remind us of that fact.
He could not sit back and watch while the sick and needy went about their business. He had to do something to alleviate their suffering:
‘Sit no longer idly by
While the heedless millions dieâ€¦â€¦”
The words of the old song vividly portray the world into which the new Salvation Army had been born a few years earlier. But has society changed that much?
Yes, we need a table-tipping Saviour but we also need disciples who will stand up against injustice and inequality, who will dare to turn the tables in the temple for the sake of those who need to know that God loves them too.