It’s easy to imagine Jesus talking and teaching but in Mark 11, He taught His disciples by acting out a parable . . . and I’m guessing it’s one they remembered.
It was the Monday morning of Holy Week and Jesus was walking toward Jerusalem. He was hungry…
He noticed a fig tree in full leaf a little way off, so He went over to see if he could find any figs.Mark 11:13a, 14
Jesus said to the tree, “May no one ever eat your fruit again!”
And then, He went on to the Temple.
Jesus entered the Temple and began to drive out the people buying and selling animals for sacrifices. He knocked over the tables of the money changers and the chairs of those selling doves, and He stopped everyone from using the Temple as a marketplace.Mark 11:15–16
It makes us uncomfortable to read about Jesus getting angry, doesn’t it? I prefer to think of Him as tender and loving and gentle and kind. And He was and is all of those things.
But He is also the sinless Son of God whose anger is always righteous which is defined as morally right and justified.
I’d like to think my anger is righteous and that I only get angry at the right time for the right reasons but that is definitely not the case.
You see – righteous anger is always and only directed at sin. And it’s always the right time to be angry at sin.
How can you and I know if it’s the right time to be angry?
We can ask ourselves the following questions:
- WHAT IS THE SOURCE OF MY ANGER?
- WHY DOES THIS MAKE ME ANGRY?
- WHAT IS THE UNDERLYING EMOTION CAUSING MY ANGER?
- DOES THE BIBLE SAY THIS MAKES GOD ANGRY?
- HOW SHOULD I DEAL WITH MY ANGER TO REMAIN HONEST WITH MYSELF AND HUMBLE WITH OTHERS?
A Prayer for the Times When I am Angry
Father, I know anger is an emotion that in itself is neither good or bad. Your Word says there are times to be angry. It tells us that sin makes You angry. Honestly, the whole idea of anger makes me uncomfortable. I don’t like thinking about You getting angry. I don’t like it when the people around me are angry. And I don’t like getting angry myself.
Please give me the courage to be angry over sin. My own and the sin I see in the world around me. Please give me wisdom and discernment to know when it’s time for me to be angry. May I have the courage I need to humbly speak the truth about sin and by Your grace, give me the strength I need not to sin when I am angry. (Ephesians 4:26) Help me Lord, for the glory of Your name. Amen.
And back to the parable…
Jesus did not curse the fig tree because He was angry at the tree. He did it to explicitly show the disciples the importance of having faith and a spiritual life that produces fruit.
He cleared the Temple because people were taking advantage of God’s children and abusing God’s house for their own selfish purposes. He knew the hearts and minds behind the acts. Their actions were keeping people from knowing the truth about God’s love.
On today’s note write:
Be angry but don’t sin.
God bless you today as you surrender your emotions to God asking Him to give you wisdom and discernment.
You can read more about Mark 11 and Jesus’ righteous anger here.
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