Title: Turning Tables
Artist: Suki Joseph Premnath
This was a very emotional piece of artwork to paint. When I was asking what I should be painting for social justice, this is the image that the Holy Spirit gave me. To be honest, I was taken by surprise that He would give me this image of an angry Jesus turning tables. I was full of doubt until the very last brush stroke, but I know this is exactly what He wanted me to paint.
The Holy Temple was misused, and it had become a place of trade. The people at the temple were abusing the poor, charging a lot of money to buy animals that would be a requirement for temple sacrifice. They had made the temple a “den of robbers.” These people were a hindrance to worship God in His Holy temple freely. They were also mocking the poor and God’s justice. Their crime was twofold. Jesus refused to sit on the sidelines. So He turned the tables to set things right. His heart burned with passion for His Father’s house. His anger wasn’t an impulsive reaction to injustice, but a well thought out response rightly centered on love for God and love for people.
As God’s children, we are commanded to pray and pray we must, but is that our only response to injustice? We occasionally fight on social media for justice, but does that alone really make any difference? What would Jesus want us to do when we see poverty, homelessness, discrimination, human trafficking, sickness, and other injustices? What is our response to injustice around us? As God’s people, as much as we are a people of prayer, would we also be a people of action and step into the chaos marked by God’s love, mercy, and justice? Would our hearts move for what moves His?
Today’s Journaling Reflections
- Read Micah 6:8 and Matthew 21:12,13. What stands out to you in these passages?
- How sensitive are you when you see injustice on the news or around you? Do you feel a desire to step in to help or a nudge to turn a blind eye and walk away? Why do you think you respond in this way?
- Respond to the question posed in the artist statement: What would Jesus want us to do when we see poverty, homelessness, discrimination, human trafficking, sickness, and other injustices? Name something tangible you can do.