And they came to Jerusalem. And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold and those who bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. And he would not allow anyone to carry anything through the temple. And he was teaching them and saying to them, “Is it not written, My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations’? But you have made it a den of robbers.”
And the chief priests and the scribes heard it and were seeking a way to destroy him, for they feared him, because all the crowd was astonished at his teaching. And when evening came they went out of the city.”
- Mark 11:15-19
Today, in a current uprising of needed justice, many Christians have become more acquainted with the angry Jesus who turned tables and the Jesus that had justice on the forefront of His mind. Many political figures embraces this notion of Jesus to serve their needs which are generally political and in no way about God’s glory.
When we come and experience the Jesus who was adamant about the nations having a place to worship God we must be diligent to understand why Jesus was pushed toward anger. Many of us forget that a few verses earlier Jesus, “Drew near and saw the city, he wept over it.” Real tears from the Son of Man spilt over a sinful nation.
When was the last time you and I wept over sins of others or do we just go on empty rants on how we, “Do not understand how those people do that?” Our disapproval of unbelievers lifestyles might not be rooted in love and compassion to see Jesus come in an rearrange their lives, but a prideful notion that we are superior has unknowingly slipped into many Christians lives.
Often times we have divorced the love of Jesus from the wrath of Jesus when love is what leads to Jesus’ anger. Anger itself is a dangerous thing. Being known for flaunting your thoughts and opinions in provocative ways is not something to be proud of. The decision to display anger must be carefully considered before we make a fool of our self. This is why James states, “Let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger.” Jesus’s anger was kindled into action from the fuel of love and compassion. The sins of the nation must be exposed in order for them to know it is sin.
While we must be careful, I hope that we will get angry. I hope when we see the over 27 million+ slaves in the world today, the millions upon millions of babies being murdered, and the hypocrisy of our own hearts that we will get furious. I hope that we will do something in response to the sins around us and in our own lives. It is always easy to get angry over the failures of others and conveniently look over our own. So let us be careful not to jump toward something in unwise anger. You might need to weep first.
Talk about it
What is a sin in your own life that needs to be tossed out?
Do you think Jesus would get angry about this sin? Will you?
Caleb Rawls is the pastor at Pleasant Home Baptist Church located in Laurel Mississippi. He and his wife Taylor work lead the church to love God and reach out to their community with the good news. They also have a golden-doodle named Tiglath-Pilesar IIII.