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
So, yes, I think the passage above allows us to say that Jesus was pretty mad. He took the time to make a whip to herd out the animals, and he threw out the coins and overturned the tables of the money changers. This action was not just a spur of the moment thing. Jesus had witnessed this, I’m sure, many times. Finally, he got tired of how people were misusing what was meant to be a place of meaningful worship, and had turned it into a carnival of greed.
This passage is often cited as the justified anger of Jesus, and rightly so. Jesus got angry when the right use of things became perverted, and therefore diminished the proper meaning of them. People can get discouraged when this happens, and they can lose faith in leaders. Jesus became quite upset when the simple faith of people became a point of manipulation for those who would profit off those trusting worshippers.
The fact that Jesus got angry is representative of his human nature. He owned it, and he used his anger to try to rectify a wrong. Unfortunately, much of our human anger is for far less noble causes. Worse, we often do not even properly own our anger, but we call it something else. Like, “I’m not angry, I’m just frustrated!”.
Well, the truth is, frustration is a combination of anger and inability to effect change. There is nothing wrong with it- it is normal to our human condition. I just think it is a bit healthier to recognize that there is anger as part of that emotion. We often do not want to own the fact that we are angry. Anger isn’t the problem. The problem is “what causes us to be angry?”
If our anger is kindled because of someone being wronged or hurt, that’s one thing. If it is because we don’t get what we want? Well, that’s another thing. Let’s just consider, “What are the things that trigger my anger?” Then we can get to a better place of dealing with it.
Prayer: You have given us the richness of emotions. Help us to recognize them and use them in a healthy way, Amen