Putting two and two together:
Some recent email exchanges with Todd, coupled with a few of the comments here, got me thinking about Nehemiah. Nehemiah, to put it bluntly, kicked ass among "God's people". He said "what on earth do you think you are doing." He made them consider that if they wanted to be called God's people, they needed to start acting like it. And this at a very perilous time, a time when the existence of the nation was hanging in the balance, a time when most would say ,"we have more pressing issues right now." To my mind, this is the proper context to view the violence of Jesus in the temple. Jesus was the new Nehemiah. Jesus spoke to "God's people" without holding anything back, even knocking some things around in the process to get some attention. This is decidedly NOT, as I understand it, a justification for the use of violence, speaking generally, among followers of Jesus, unless by violence you mean following the examples of Jesus and Jeremiah. It is certainly not an example of making war.