Jesus' Jealousy and Anger
He is jealous for us, and won’t let anyone stand in His way.
I remember as a kid hearing the story of John 2, when Jesus came into the temple and used a whip to drive out the money changers and turn over the tables, yelling “Get these out of here! How dare you turn my Fathers house into a house of merchandise?” I was a little confused by this since I was taught that we should not become angry. Ephesians 4:26 says, “In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry.” And James 1:20 says, “Human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.”
I remember as a kid thinking it was pretty cool to have Jesus come in and start flipping tables and flexing his muscles, but I always came away from reading this passage feeling conflicted.
But as I started to study the scriptures and the nature of God, it started to make sense to me. For example in James 1:20 it tells us that the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God. God came to earth in flesh as Jesus who is righteous. Colossians 2:9-10 says, “For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority.”
Was Jesus righteous or justified in what He did? According to scripture, He was. He is the head of all rule and authority, and that alone gives Him the right. Later in John’s gospel, Jesus tells the Jews that God was His father, making Him equal with God.
John 2:17 it tells us that His disciples remembered that it was written: “Zeal for Your house has eaten Me up.” This was originally written by David when he was calling the people to true worship. David was calling the people back to worship from resistance and hatred. But the people’s hearts were still in the same condition when Jesus entered the temple and did what he did.
The God who created the universe and everything in it has a right to be jealous for us. After all, He created us to be in fellowship with Him. Jesus saw the situation in the temple as people being irreverent and blasphemous by putting a wedge between people and their God. And so we see how great His love is for us by His actions. He is jealous for us, and won’t let anyone stand in His way.