Some say, “Remember, Jesus wasn’t meek all the time. There was that day when He cleansed the temple.” Indeed, this was a dramatic event. The animals scurried, tables and coinage went flying and money-changers ran from their posts. Yet, I contend Jesus may have been more meek at this moment in His ministry than any other. Allow me to explain.
I have become convinced the spirit of meekness God desires is our complete surrender of ambition to His purposes. Realize, I am not suggesting we discard our ambition, but rather that we become intentional about living by God’s agenda. Let’s return to Jesus’ encounter with the money changers as recorded in John 3. We read, “To those who sold doves he said, “Get these out of here! How dare you turn my Father’s house into a market!” His disciples remembered that it is written: “Zeal for your house will consume me.” Then the Jews demanded of him, “What miraculous sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this?” Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.” (John 2:16-19)
The reason Jesus cleansed the temple was because the spiritual leaders of the day had turned His Father’s house into a venue for personal gain. Yes, His reaction was drastic, and He was certainly angry. But the principle Jesus was upholding was one of meekness. God gave humans ambition to help them grow His kingdom, not their own. In addition, when He was asked for a sign to justify His authority he referenced His future death and resurrection. That’s right! Instead of swirling His whip over his head and shouting, “I’ve got your sign right here!” Jesus pointed to the cross. I feel certain the money-changers were baffled by His words, but in hindsight we see things with perfect clarity. Jesus was consumed with His Father’s will. There is no better definition of meekness.