03/04/2018 - When Jesus Got Mad

March 14th, 2018

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“When Jesus Got Mad”

John 2:13-22


  • Why talk about anger?

    • ...especially on Communion Sunday?

      • We are in the season of Lent
      • The lectionary reading for today is Jesus clearing the temple
      • If we are in any way connected to the larger world via news reports, podcasts, social media, anger is now in the air we breathe.
    • Earlier this past week, while the news was still focused on the Parkland..
      • Did you watch the CNN town hall meeting?

        • I listened to it, and when the NRA spokeswoman was speaking I did indeed hear a cry of "burn her," although it could have been someone mangling the word "murderer." So much anger.
      • Did you hear the Broward county deputies (multiple) stayed outside?
        • We have since learned they were told to set up a perimeter
        • So much anger over that.
      • What do we do with this anger?
        • Write nasty replies on social media?
        • Take it out on other people during the day? (or worse, when at home in the evening?)
        • WWJD?
      • What Jesus did...
        • Why was He upset?

          • (Yes, He really was upset. The "wrath of God" is real...)
          • Disrespecting God's holy place was a part of the story... (John 2:16)
          • The other part was the "unjust scales" alluded to in Matthew 21:13 with the "den of robbers" quote
            • How often had Jesus and Mary and Joseph traveled to the temple, and how often had Jesus seen exorbitant prices demanded of the poorest people?

          • How did He respond?
            • Not politely! But not out of proportion, either...
            • A "whip" would have been used to get the animals moving
            • Turning over the tables and chairs got the moneychangers moving
            • He did not go around wailing on the money changers...
            • And when it was over, it was over! It doesn't say Jesus was carrying the anger around with Him, even against those who crucified Him.
          • How are we to follow Him?
            • Paul speaking to the church as a whole:

              • Be angry but do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not make room for the devil. - Ephesians 4:26-27 (NRSV)
            • The writer of Hebrews (maybe Paul) addressed lingering anger:
              • See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springs up and causes trouble, and through it many become defiled. - Hebrews 12:15 (NRSV)
              • Ever let a bull thistle grow in your garden?
            • Do not allow yourself to be infected by this era of anger that we are living in
              • If your anger is just, do not allow it to become sinful

                • Treat others as persons deserving respect and understanding
                • Do not respond disproportionately
                • Do not in frustration take past wrongs out on present family, friends, churchgoers, coworkers, motorists...
              • In short, give your frustration and anger to God!
                • Allow just anger to move you to action, but don't allow it to curdle into bitterness.
                • Make no room for the devil, but make room for love and forgiveness instead.
                • Do your best in this age of anger to spread love, not hate, through the power of Jesus Christ.
                • Even if you don't feel it yet, set an example by your actions not only for others, but for yourself! If you do this, the feelings will start to change...
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