The first reading from Exodus is basically the "rules of the road" for those folks going together to new lands/places...i.e. here it is the Jews headed to the Promised Land. It laid down pretty clearly that there is one leader and identified those behaviors that everyone would do to keep peace on the way.
John's gospel piece takes place at a time when Passover (and the passion) were near. John tells a temple story (mentioned in every gospel) of what Jesus actually did (if historical) or could have done (if made up from a number of lesser occasions. The story is either explanatory of why the arrest/killing took place (“it was the worst sort of blasphemy”) or descriptive of the culmination of the increasing number of serious ‘disagreements’ between Jesus' behavior and what was acceptable to the Jewish leaders ("it was the last straw"). Side note: Mark 11:18 says that when "the chief priests and the teachers of the law heard of [the temple business], they began looking for some way to kill Jesus."
While we (i.e. the MOJO community) try to follow "the rules of the road," "love God and one another," but there may be times when we protest (in some way) against those rules and those actions (like Jesus and the temple unrest). And those activities might not be peaceful or popular (as Jesus' protest wasn't.) And some people might have limits on the “amount or type” of protesting that is considered acceptable. In all of this we need to remember the saying that "true peace is not merely the absence of tension; it is the presence of justice" and “if you want peace, work for justice.” But many times, justice can be or seem to be pretty subjective.
Question: Today society looks to "the rules of the road" (the law), hoping that it will establish and maintain peace. But there are times when parts of society feels it must protest about the injustice that it experiences.
How do we understand the peaceable Jesus and the angry and destructible Jesus? How do we understand our following the "rules of the road" while engaging or participating in "peaceable protests"?