Friday, September 29, 2006

More on Anger... – John 2

When Jesus displayed anger, He was sensitive to the consequences of His display of anger. The money changers, cattle and dove sellers were a needed service for the temple sacrifices to be carried out. People who came from great distances could not bring a proper sacrifice with them. People from different countries needed money changers to make the whole system work…
But…not in the temple where worship would be disturbed by the hum of the marketplace set up inside the temple. Worship services would be distracted by cows, who bellowed, sheep that baaed, and pigeons or doves who cooed. That’s what Jesus was angry about—the disruption of worship.

Notice what Jesus did when He got angry. He did not break the tables, He only over-turned them, and then they could set up business in a proper place. He poured the money on the ground; he did not throw it to a mob. It was their money, and by pouring it on the ground, He sent His message. He took a whip and drove out the cattle and sheep. Most likely they were tied together and could be easily recaptured by their rightful owners. He sent the message but He did not cause hardship for these people. Notice, He only speaks to the people with the doves; He tells them “get them outa here” (my translation). If He flipped over the cages and all the doves broke free, it would have been financial hardship for the supplier of the doves. It was their business and He did not cause them hardship.

If and when we decide to display anger, we need to consider the consequences that will result from our angry display…remember, be “slow to anger and abound in love and faithfulness.”

Brooks and Dunn sing a song called Husbands and Wives; a line in the song says this: “Angry words spoken with haste, what a waste of two lives.” Yes, our angry words spoken in haste may have life-long consequences and leave deep wounds and hurts.

If and when we display anger, be slow to do it…and always consider the consequences…

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