We are all self-quarantined at home with this Covid19 pandemic. Emotions are on a roller coaster of ups and downs. Tempers are quick to flare. Our descendants will read about this in history books. How are you spending your time, and how are you maintaining your temper?
Yesterday was Palm Sunday. After Jesus arrived in Jerusalem did you ever wonder how he spent His final week in ministry? 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. Jesus cursed it, and when they came back to it had shriveled up and died. Scholars believe the tree being cursed represents God’s judgment on those that are spiritually dead.
Jesus was comparing the tree to the whole nation of Israel because it had become spiritually barren before the Lord. It no longer produced fruit. The people knew their religion but did not live it. They knew the correct words, but their hearts were away from God.
This story of what Jesus also did might be more familiar. Jesus also went into the temple and cleared it out of the dishonest money changers. This time He was mad. He had enough. They were cheating people and making a mockery of the temple. Jesus went through overturning tables and saying: “Scripture says ‘My Temple will be a house of prayer’, but you have turned it into a den of thieves.” He drove the money changers and their animals out restoring order and respect.
What has stayed with me about this story for many years 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.
How about you when you become angry?
“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? I can’t tell you how many times I have flown off the handle in anger. Acted quickly without thinking things through. My family calls that having a “short fuse” because it does not take long to explode after the anger is lit.
Jesus is not like this. His righteous indignation toward what was happening in the temple was just. It needed to be done. 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! What do you do when you are angry? How do you react?
Jesus had one week left with his disciples before his crucifixion and resurrection. Everything was done in the right way without rushing. In His time and in His way. Even in a time of righteous 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.