Skip to main content

Does Jesus have anger issues?

Image result for john 2 13-22Something I have really been enjoying is preparing an emessage for each Thursday for St. Timothy Lutheran Church. Each week it's about one of Sunday's upcoming lessons. This exercise has helped me to focus my
thoughts regarding the text. This Sunday it is John 2:13-22. 

This is what I shared today regarding the above gospel reading.

John 2:13-22 The Message

13-14 When the Passover Feast, celebrated each spring by the Jews, was about to take place, Jesus traveled up to Jerusalem. He found the Temple teeming with people selling cattle and sheep and doves. The loan sharks were also there in full strength.

15-17 Jesus put together a whip out of strips of leather and chased them out of the Temple, stampeding the sheep and cattle, upending the tables of the loan sharks, spilling coins left and right. He told the dove merchants, Get your things out of here! Stop turning my Fathers house into a shopping mall! Thats when his disciples remembered the Scripture, Zeal for your house consumes me.

18-19 But the Jews were upset. They asked, What credentials can you present to justify this? Jesus answered, Tear down this Temple and in three days Ill put it back together.

20-22 They were indignant: It took forty-six years to build this Temple, and youre going to rebuild it in three days? But Jesus was talking about his body as the Temple. Later, after he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered he had said this. They then put two and two together and believed both what was written in Scripture and what Jesus had said.

Last week we talked about grumpy Jesus in his exchange with Peter. In John's gospel, we see Jesus and he is beyond grumpy, he's downright angry and aggressive. Last week it seemed like he needed an attitude adjustment. At face value, in this week's gospel he may need an intervention or an anger management group.

What makes the issue even graver is that what the money changers and the sellers of animals did was provide a service for the throngs of pilgrims who would come to the temple during Passover. One other thing we need to consider is that the area the gospel refers to as "the temple," was not the worship space as we would think of it. It was in the part of the temple complex, outside the temple in the court of the Gentiles. The Message version of this Sunday's gospel, which is printed above, in many ways gives us a greater understanding of what's going on. However, like every other translation, it refers to the area where the money changers and sellers of animals were as the "temple."

So, what is Jesus really up to? Is Jesus overreacting? Is John's purpose of including this story to emphasize Jesus' humanity? There are lots of questions we should be asking about this passage of scripture. I hope to see you Sunday and that you are full of questions about this gospel text and that you will open yourselves to a different way of looking at this part of John's gospel. You may go home with some answers.

True to form, things are not always as they seem with Jesus. He had bigger issues in mind. Come on Sunday and we'll talk about that. Remember, we can't keep God in a box.


Popular posts from this blog

If and If and If

This is the sermon I preached on Sunday, 10/1/17 at St. Timothy Lutheran Church and St. Mark Lutheran Church. The scripture text is Philippians 2:1-13

Paul’s letter to the Philippians is one of my favorites. It is full of positive, uplifting theology, like “RejoiceintheLordalways; again I will say, Rejoice (Phil. 4:4 ). It’s a feel-good kind of letter. Today’s passage from Philippians is chock full of great stuff and I could get at least 10 sermons out of

I'm Back & Giving Thanks

Sunday, 9/17, was my first Sunday back in the pulpit after 7 months. I am not completely healed from February's back surgery, but am mostly there. The doctor is letting me work only part time until our next visit. This is the sermon from Sunday, 9/17, preached at St. Timothy Lutheran Church and St. Mark Lutheran Church.  based on Psalm 103 1:-13.
When I read today’s lessons, I couldn’t take my eyes of of Psalm 103. This psalm is an individual psalm of one who was struggling in a desperate situation, who called out to God and God delivered him.This is my story too.
As most of you know, I had back surgery in Feb. and I too, received God’s deliverance. Following the back surgery, I contracted an Ecoli infection that nearly killed me. I am here today to declare with the psalmist: “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and do not forget all his benefits…”
The odd thing about this psalm is that it isn’t a prayer. It is not ad…

Flying Rebukes

This is the sermon I preached on Sunday, 2/25/18 at St. Timothy. Lutheran Church. The text was Mark 8:31-38. 

Immediately before today’s gospel reading, Jesus had asked his disciples who people say that he is. This is where the light went on for Peter and he made the confession, “You are the Messiah” (Mark 8:29). Peter certainly gave the right answer and was likely thinking of the attributes given to whoever would be the Messiah. The Messiah, people thought, would deliver them from the crushing rule of the Romans. The Messiah would fight their enemies. Basically, the Messiah was a strong king-like figure.
But, now Jesus fleshes out for Peter and others what that is going to look like. They were completely unprepared for the reality.
“Jesus began to teach them” (v. 31). Hadn’t he been teaching the disciples all along? Maybe, but this was different. This wasn’t teaching about miracles and healing. This is the turning point in Mark’s gospel, marking a new beginning.
“Jesus began to teach the…