Did Jesus Endorse Riots?

The story of Jesus clearing the temple (John 2:13ff) is used as justification for the rioting, looting and destruction of property going on today. I do not intend to be argumentative. I do intend to shed light on a misused passages of Scripture. Take a minute to read this:

1) According to F.F. Bruce, biblical NT scholar, “Northwest of the temple area stood the fortress of Antonia . . .garrisoned by a cohort of Roman troops under the command of a military tribune, (According to Josephus, Jewish Wars 5.8).” The fortress was connected to the outer court of the temple by two flights of steps, so that a garrison might intervene as quickly as possible in the event of rioting.” In Acts 21:31ff we see centurions (plural, at least 200 soldiers) sent in to save Paul’s life in the Jerusalem Temple [same place Jesus overturned the tables].

2) This fortress existed in the in the days of Christ, so whatever happened in John 2:13ff was not considered violent in nature because the garrison did NOT spring into action. No lives were lost and no permanent damage was caused, and no garrisons were called to quell the action. In the eyes of the garrison, and in the eyes of the money changers at the temple, what he did was not worthy of garrison intervention. I should add that the event left a lasting impression on Christ’s disciples (John 2:17), but it was far from a riot!

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