Monday, April 6, 2009

An Angry Jesus???

On Monday of Holy Week we remember the day when Jesus went to the temple in Jerusalem and got angry. Yes even Jesus felt that very human emotion of anger.

When people came from distant lands to visit the Temple during Passover they needed two things in order to worship: an animal to sacrifice and temple money.

According to the laws found in Leviticus the sacrifice had to be perfect with out blemish. Each animal was inspected by a priest to be sure it was acceptable. If it wasn't you had to go find one that was and make an exchange. Off duty Levites on the Temple mount itself and even in the temple had pre-approved exchange animals that you could have for a price. Perhaps too much of a price. Perhaps a disapprove sacrifice one day might be on sale the next as pre-approved.

Because you could not make an offering with money that had the face of a human the Jews minted coins without a human image on them and it was referred to as "Temple Money." If you got to the temple with foreign coins you needed to exchange for a price your foreign coins for Temple coins.  The exchange rate could be high. 

Many worshipers felt that they were being cheated right there in the temple. So when Jesus over turned the tables scatting coins and animals he was most likely cheered by people wishing they could do the same thing. In the Gospel according to Mark Jesus said, "It is written, My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations but you have made it a den of robbers."

Righteous indignation became anger and Jesus drove them out of the temple.


  1. Jesus did get angry - but his was a righteous indignation, whereas we mere mortals tend to get upset about things and causes that might not be so righteous or moral.
    Hope you had a great weekend.

  2. Ben thank you I did have a great week-end.
    Anger is a natural emotion. The important thing is what we do with it.

  3. And we always need to be praying especially when feeling angry!