A Year of Listening to Jesus 1/13

And he told those who sold the pigeons, “Take these things away; do not make my Father’s house a house of trade.” John 2:13

I saw a meme that said, Remember, “when doing what Jesus did, turning over tables and cracking a whip is not out of the realm of possibilities”. Sometimes we get so focused on gentle Jesus, meek and mild, that we forget he could also exhibit righteous anger. People turning a place of worship into an idolatrous den of thieves was one of the things that provoked his wrath. A place that was intended to draw people closer to the Lord had become a place that actually drew people deeper into sin.

We don’t like to talk about the wrath of God or his righteous anger. A sweet, gentle, grandfather of a God. But the good news of the Gospel is good news because Jesus took the hit for us and took God’s wrath on himself so you would not have to. The anger of God, his wrath, was also righteous. We are deserving of punishment because of our rebellion against God. But God’s mercy is such that he made a way for us to avoid that punishment.

The existence of God’s righteous anger raises a question for us. When is it okay to be angry? Lot’s of followers of Jesus think that anger in itself is a sin. It isn’t. Jesus god angry and yet never sinned. In fact one could make the opposite case that to never get angry could be sinful. People who never got angry about the abuses in the Temple were actually sinning by approving of sin. If you never get angry over child abuse, or racism, or a whole host of other evils in the world then you may be guilty of turning a blind eye towards things that grieve God.

The trick to righteous anger is to never let the anger fester within you and take root in your heart. You need to be angry at the right thing, the sin, and always leave room for mercy and grace for the sinner. Sadly, we too often get angry and the sinner and leave too much room for the sin.

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