The text in John is different from Matthew, Mark and Luke. For example, in John, this scene happens at the start of Jesus ministry rather than at the end in Matthew, Mark and Luke. Perhaps a demonstration for the disciples of what this new rabbi was going to expect of them?
I wondered if John wasn't inviting us to see Jesus in terms of a new and different relationship with God.
I wondered if God wasn't perhaps calling us to leave the safety of the status quo (the temple) which included honoring our traditional ideas of what God expects of us and follow Jesus (the new "temple") as the embodiment of that different relationship with God.
There was irony in this theme: this was the Sunday of the announcement of my move from Stratmoor (in Colorado, my home for fifteen of my adult years) to Hilltop (in Utah, a place I have never lived.)
C. S. Lewis in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, answers the question if the Jesus character (Aslan the Lion) is safe: "Safe? Of course he isn't safe, but he's good."
Don't you wonder what the new disciples must have been wondering as Jesus is "cleansing the temple:" 'what have I gotten myself into with this Jesus guy? Maybe I need to get back to dad tending those nets.'
But maybe, moving from a place of safety to a new and different place is exactly what God expects of us at a time of God's choosing, not our own!
Harvey Martz is the Senior Pastor at St. Andrew UMC in Highlands Ranch, CO. He observes that it is challenging for us as leaders to espouse a change through us until it happens to us.
To preach a message of leaving a place of safety where we think we understand our world to a different place requires understanding this Jesus might not be safe, but remembering he is most certainly, good.