When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple courts he found men selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple area, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. – John 2:13-15
We all like the mental picture of the loving Jesus with a soft spoken manner letting children sit on His lap. The problem with that image is that it is only half of the story. There is another side to Jesus that we find in Scripture…the side that allowed Him to verbally lash out at the religious leaders of the day…the side that allowed Him to take a whip and drive the money changers out of the Temple…the side I like to call the Ultimate Fighter Jesus.
Jesus didn’t always go around healing the sick…holding hands with the lepers…skipping through tulips singing “Kum Ba Ya”. He called people “vipers”, He stood up to the “establishment”, He took a “swing” at injustice in His Father’s house…He encouraged people to ignore and rebel against the Jewish leaders. He clearly understood, taught and displayed that there was time for righteous indignation when it was not necessary to “turn the other cheek”.
Sometimes Christians…and churches…have to step into the fray of battle. Sometimes we have to avoid a “peaceful solution” in order to claim the victory that God is calling us to. It is not something we long to do or want to do…but sometimes it is thrust upon us. There are times when all diplomatic avenues have been exhausted and injustice against God’s people keeps happening…it is time to follow the example of the Ultimate Fighter Jesus. These days we don’t do it with a whip…but through protests…civil disobedience…public awareness…legal options…speaking to the media…and just being a colossal thorn in the side. There are just those times and situations where we have to get some skin in the game…to take action…to cease to be a doormat…to follow Scripture…to become the Ultimate Fighter Christian or the Ultimate Fighter Church.