Modeling Anger

The Gospel Sync | #26 | John 2:13-25

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Welcome Back! Today, we’ll be looking at the Gospel of John to discover how Jesus got angry. 

So let’s dive in.

(Click here to get a copy of the Gospel Sync document) 

The Gospel – John 2:13-25

When the Jewish Passover was near, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple courts He found men selling oxen, sheep, and doves, and money changers seated at their tables. So He made a whip out of cords and drove all from the temple courts, both sheep and oxen. He poured out the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. To those selling doves He said, “Get these out of here! How dare you turn My Father’s house into a marketplace!” His disciples remembered that it is written:

“Zeal for Your house will consume Me.”

On account of this, the Jews demanded, “What sign can You show us to prove Your authority to do these things?” Jesus answered, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up again.” The Jews replied, “This temple took forty-six years to build and You are going to raise it up in three days?” But Jesus was speaking about the temple of His body. (So when He was raised from the dead, His disciples remembered that He said this; and they believed the Scripture and the word which Jesus had spoken.)

While He was in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast, many people saw the signs He was doing and believed in His name. But Jesus did not entrust Himself to them, because He knew them all. He didn’t need anyone to tell Him about man, because He knew what was in a man.

My Thoughts 

What are you passionate about? Here we see Jesus absolutely going off on the religious regime for turning a buck under the disguise of worship. Jesus didn’t confront the system much in the beginning of His ministry but on this occasion it was a doozy! So why did Jesus pick this one thing to get all bent out of shape about? I’m thinking because it was the one obvious area that exposed the hypocrisy of the religious leaders. It was clear they were taking advantage of the people’s sincere desire to worship God. It was the money they were really after. And Jesus comes off the top ropes on them. (As you look around today, have things really changed? I mean with some churches it is very hard to distinguish between business and ministry.) Jesus was modeling what it looks like to have “righteous indignation.” His men saw Him going into a raging tyrant over this one issue. He would do it again later in His ministry just to put the icing on the cake. This was important to Jesus!

As disciple makers, what are we passionate about? What do the people we’re mentoring see as most important to us? Do we model standing up to injustice or a lack of integrity? Are we bothered when people are abused or led in directions we know they will be harmed? Jesus demonstrated His abhorrence for the corruption of His Father’s house and the fleecing of the people. 

My Story

Deb and I attended a fundraising school in order to help the missionaries we were sending out to be more effective at raising their support. As we sat and listened, I was feeling uncomfortable. There was something that just wasn’t right about the approach they were pitching to acquire donors. Then during one session they said, “One of the ideal times to ask donors to support you financially is during times of crisis. Reach out to potential donors when there’s an earthquake, hurricane, or some other natural or man made disaster. Their emotions are raw and people tend to give more when they’re emotionally charged.” I could not believe my ears! We, as Christians, are to take advantage of people who are fearful or grieving in order to get their money? Now things were becoming very clear. The uneasiness I was feeling was that we were being taught how to be “good salesmen.” And although there were a few Bible verses sprinkled in the training here and there, the whole thing was dripping with worldly practices! Now if you ever want to see a shepherd go prophet, start messing with the sheep. I was livid! Although I didn’t make a whip or flip tables, I did voice my opinions about the obvious abuse of people’s emotions. I made it very clear that I would not practice these manipulative tactics or teach them to our people. I showed the people I was discipling not only what was wrong with the approach but how to appropriately use anger to combat the wrong.

Our Action Plan

So what gets your blood boiling? Is it a righteous zeal or just emotion going off the rails? In light of Ephesians 4.26 are you able to be angry and yet not sin? Consider some of these action plans;

  • Make a short list of the things that make you angry and evaluate if they merit “righteous indignation”
  • Model getting angry without sinning for the people you’re mentoring
  • Do a Bible study on the anger of Jesus

At first glance we may be a bit timid to demonstrate our anger. But let’s face it, we all get angry. It’s a God given emotion. We might as well learn to do it right like Jesus did.

Author: Chuck & Deb

Chuck & Deb love Jesus!

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