After Jesus arrived in Jerusalem on Palm Sunday did you ever wonder how he spent His final week in ministry? What did He do until His crucifixion? On Monday, He taught His disciples a parable about faith when He cursed a fig tree that did not produce fruit. Do you remember that one?
They had been out walking and were hungry when they saw a fig tree with many leaves. After they looked for the fruit, none could be found. It was barren. Many believe the tree being cursed represents God’s judgment on those that are spiritually dead.
The story of what Jesus also did might be more familiar. Jesus went into the temple, was angered and disgusted by the dishonest money changers. They were cheating people and making a mockery of the temple. He left and made a whip before he came back. Then Jesus went through where the money hangers were with their animals, overturning tables and saying: “Scripture says ‘My Temple will be a house of prayer,’ but you have turned it into a den of thieves.” The money changers and their animals were all driven out restoring order and respect.
What has stayed with me about this story is that Jesus stopped and braided a whip so that He could think about what He was going to do before just charging into the temple. He didn’t fly off the handle but took time to think about the situation. Maybe He prayed. I would imagine He did. I have never made a whip, but wouldn’t you think it took quite a while?
“So He made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple courts, both sheep and cattle; He scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables.” John 2:15
Could you do this? Wait to tell people they were doing wrong, especially to your father? Jesus had righteous anger. I can’t tell you how many times I have flown off the handle in rage. Acted quickly without thinking things through. Not so with Jesus. His indignation toward what was happening in the temple was just. It needed to be done, but he waited to think clearly and make certain it was done correctly. How many times have I wished that I had done things like that? Many!
Jesus had one week left with his disciples before his crucifixion and resurrection. Everything was done in the right way without rushing. Even in a time of deep anger He still slowed down and gave Himself time to cool off and think with a clear mind. What a beautiful example for all of us. We, too, have the ability of self-control. It is one of the fruits of the Spirit. Let’s learn from Jesus and use this mighty gift.