The Righteous Anger of Jesus

John Koedyker

Read: Mark 11:15-19

Is it not written, “My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations”? But you have made it a den of robbers. (v. 17)

Charles Wesley’s hymn “Gentle Jesus, Meek and Mild” speaks of our Lord’s tenderness, kindness, and love. For the most part, that is the way the Gospels portray Jesus. But not these verses! Here we see an angry Jesus, overturning tables and driving out those who were buying and selling in the temple.

But it was not anger just for anger’s sake. It was a righteous anger—an anger expressing the very sentiments of God himself. Jesus, as the Son of God, did not even feel at home in his Father’s house with all the commerce and clutter. He called it “a den of thieves.” People were being swindled and exploited by having to pay an exorbitant temple tax, which had to be paid in shekels and thus involved an exchange fee to change their money.

In addition, the venue for all of this buying and selling was called the Court of the Gentiles. It was meant to be a place of preparation and prayer, but with all the commotion, it was impossible for anyone to worship. Jesus had a reason to be angry. “My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations,” Jesus says. May the worship of God always be at the forefront of what we do in God’s house.—John Koedyker

As you pray, ask God to help you enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise (Ps. 100:4).