You’ll remember in our last lesson, the tragedy is that business was carried on in the court of the Gentiles in the temple, the place where the Jews should have been meeting the Gentiles and telling them about the one true God. The body of Christ had defiled the temple.
And so, as a result, any Gentile truly searching for the truth would not likely find it among the so-called religious merchants in the temple area.
It is apparent that these men were not serving God, nor were they truly serving the people. They were serving themselves, and generously I might add, at the expense of others. When Jesus arrived and witnessed this He became filled with anger. He was obviously angry at the merchants who exploited those who had come to God’s house to worship.
These religious leaders had turned a place of worship into a money making enterprise and Jesus took these evil acts in the temple as an insult against God. And He did not deal with them halfheartedly.
He was consumed with righteous indignation against their flagrant disrespect for God and His people.
His temple was supposed to be a place of reverence and worship and joy. The Jewish leaders were responsible to set the tone for the heart of the worship and celebrations that took place there. Instead, they turned the temple into a den of robbers as Jesus says again later in Scripture.
Anger is an emotion and clearly a feeling that we all experience at one time or another. Yet there are two different types of anger. One is righteous indignation which Jesus clearly reveals here. It’s an anger against an injustice or a sin handled in a controlled manner.
And then there is uncontrolled anger or rage. This results in lashing out, retaliation, or vengeance that is not handled in a godly manner, basically anger out of control. This is clearly the opposite of Jesus’ righteous indignation. There are many scriptures that support such righteous indignation at sin but also command us not to sin in our anger.
It would do us good to check our own attitude and behavior as we enter our church for worship.
Are you actively attending a local body of believers? God instructs us through His word to actively participate in a local body. So if you are not connected in this way, will you pray and actively seek where He would have you attend next Sunday? Will you go not out of duty, but rather out of devotion for all He has done for you?
And I encourage those of you who are in church to check your heart attitude. Examine your true motivation for being a part of the body of Christ.
Do you just show up because God expects you to? Is it a duty or do you attend because you delight in gathering with others who are like-minded?