Video Host: Eric Hoffman - National Speed The Light Director
BIG SCRIPTURE: John 2:13-25
In this story, Jesus visits the temple in Jerusalem during a Jewish holiday called Passover. The temple was a place where the Jews gathered to worship God. During a feast like Passover, Jewish people and non-Jewish (Gentile) believers traveled from far away to worship at the temple. One of the ways they worshipped at the feasts was with animal sacrifices. Once arriving, these travelers would exchange their foreign currency for local currency with the money changers in order to buy animals from the temple merchants; this was a lot easier than bringing an ox, sheep or dove on a long trip! So, why did Jesus get angry at the money changers and merchants? Weren’t they being helpful?
Jesus was angry because his Father’s house was meant to be a place for all nations to come and worship. The money changers were exchanging the money at a dishonest rate and the merchants were charging an unfair price for the animals. They had also filled up the outer area of the temple (known as the court of Gentiles) with their businesses; there wasn’t enough space for the Gentiles to gather. So, the money changers and merchants were getting rich by taking advantage of these visitors’ desire to worship God while making it difficult for them to do so. When Jesus saw this, he knew he had a responsibility to say and do something. Jesus became angry because he was consumed with “passion for God’s house.” That means he loved and cared about the things his Father loved and cared about. Jesus wasn’t angry for selfish reasons. He was angry for the right reasons.
Why was Jesus angry? What does it teach us about God and what He cares about?
How is Jesus’ anger different than our anger?
What is something in this world that it is right to be angry about?
God, thank you that you care about all kinds of people. Thank you that you want everyone to be able to know you, love you and worship you. Help me to never be an obstacle to someone knowing your love and truth. Give me strength to stand up for the right things and the wisdom to know when and how to do so. Thank you that Jesus got angry about the right things, but never angry about the wrong things. Thank you that he did that as an example, but also as my substitute. In Jesus’ name, amen.