So, this great conversation over at Marty’s blog here
lead me to this question:
Is there a single time, in the 4 gospels, where we see an in-your-face, confrontational Jesus, where the confrontation is not with those who are victimizing others?
The ultimate example of an in-your-face Jesus is probably as he runs out the money-changers. These people were essentially extorting money from the less fortunate.
He’s pretty blunt with the pharisees, saudecees, etc. in a variety of places… But again, these folks are victimizing others.
Calling Peter Satan might seem a little out of the range of this description. But in some ways at this point, Peter poses a greater threat to all of us than the money changers and pharisees combined; he’s challenging Jesus’ entire mission on Earth. I also wonder to what extent it’s literally true that Satan is working through Peter at that point: the temptation isn’t really that different than Satan’s early attempts, right after Jesus baptism. In all cases Satan is attempting to subvert and pervert the nature of Jesus reign and the meaning of Jesus’ time on Earth.
The one I haven’t quite figured out is Jesus anger at the tree which he causes to whither… It might be argued that the tree is an object lesson, but Jesus appears to be angry at a big plant. What’s the deal with that?