“What a friend we have in Jesus…” doesn’t harmonize very well with John’s whip wielding, table tipping, Jesus gone wild. But then this temple tantrum is about more than just bake sales and Starbucks in the narthex. In three and a half years Jesus has had plenty of reasons to react with all consuming zeal towards those who opposed his message but other than some name calling, “you brood of vipers” Jesus shows great restraint. Even on the cross, where you or I might be tempted to cuss, Jesus forgives. So why does Jesus call out the dove sellers and go ballistic in the temple mall? “Zeal for your house will consume me” is what the disciples remember later but in the heat of the moment I imagine even some of his followers might have thought he went too far. The temple sacrifices prescribed by law were about avoiding the jealous God “who visits punishment on the children for the sins of the parents” by obeying the God who shows steadfast love towards generations that keep the commandments. But Jesus objects to the house’s profit margin and not just because his Father holds the mortgage. No. This is about a human institution masquerading as a holy one and making monetary demands in the name of God. “Stop bringing me meaningless sacrifices” is how God speaks about the system through the prophet Isaiah. “Love justice, act with kindness, walk humbly with your God” is what God requires according to Micah. In the end it will be the human house that consumes Jesus with blood thirsty zeal. “Crucify!” What they couldn’t see coming was that consuming Jesus on the cross was the way God would make our human houses holy.