After Jesus enters Jerusalem for the Passover feast, and to be crucified, buried and resurrected for our sins, He visits the temple. In Matthew 21, we are reminded that there is such as thing as righteous anger from God against those who profane what He has declared to be holy… to be set aside for His purposes. God is not just love, but is righteous and holy and absolutely feels righteous anger against us when we break His commands and instructions, especially when we know better, or should.
12And Jesus entered the temple and drove out all those who were buying and selling in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who were selling doves. 13And He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer’; but you are making it a robbers’ den”.
14And the blind and the lame came to Him in the temple, and He healed them. 15But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that He had done, and the children who were shouting in the temple, “Hosanna to the Son of David,” they became indignant 16and said to Him, “Do You hear what these children are saying?” And Jesus said to them, “Yes; have you never read, ‘Out of the mouth of infants and nursing babies You have prepared praise for Yourself’?” 17And He left them and went out of the city to Bethany, and spent the night there.
God’s temple is to be set aside as holy, for God’s purposes, not just as market to sell things. So, too are other things which God commands, such as the Sabbath. It is to be set aside to honor God and obey His commands, not profaned or made common by work. God commanded us to celebrate Sabbath on the seventh day of the week from Genesis and reinforced it through the life of Jesus as He did so without fail. (In the Jewish calendar, days start at sundown, so Sabbath actually starts Friday at sundown and ends Saturday at sundown. Sunday was introduced by tradition of men in contradiction to God’s commands.) What God sets apart as holy, we are not to make common. We should keep it holy, whether it is the temple, or the Sabbath, or other things God sets apart as holy.
Notice that Jesus focused the expression of His righteous anger productively. He did not lash out at everyone or everything. He rebuked harshly those doing wrong and then turned and embraced those in need who were seeking Him. He was not out of control.
Jesus, after disrupting the market, welcomed the blind and lame to be healed at the temple. All the chief priests and scribes could do is stand indignant, disregarding the miracles Jesus performed, and disregarding the truth of who He was. They should have known better, but were unwilling to submit to God when His teaching was different from their traditions of men. They were so blinded by their religion and traditions of men, that theses esteemed and studied scholars of scripture could not recognize Jesus as the Christ and Messiah, even when it was so obvious that even the children could see it. They called out “Hosanna to the Son of David,”.
The chief priests and scribes challenged Jesus that He should deny such a claim, but He did the opposite. He accepted it and rebuked the religious leaders.
Jesus clearly claimed to be the Christ and Messiah. He is not “a good man” or a “good teacher” or a “good prophet”. Jesus Christ is either God, as He claimed, or he is a madman or a liar. Judaism and Islam have made a significant error in their assessment of Jesus Christ. Jesus is God and to deny Him is to deny the offer of salvation through grace by faith.
I invite you to pray with me:
Father, please help me to avoid unrighteous anger but also to avoid being complacent in accepting things which are offensive to you. Please help me focus my righteous anger toward productive channels that can help to rebuke wrong and still embrace those who seek you with open arms. If I am rebuked for actions I am doing wrong, please help me not to resist wise correction because of pride or lack courage to change or lack of discernment to see my error. Help me to accept appropriate rebuke from others and make changes in my life. Help me not to miss you and your truth because I am too attached to my traditions and the traditions of family or man. Help me to see and recognize and worship You as the children did in today’s scripture. Father please grant these requests also for all those who are called by Your name. Amen.
Devotion by John in service to Christ
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