“Is it not written, “My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations” Mark 11:17
Sorry to those who have tuned in today to hear a blog about the hit song by Adele! Today’s instalment in our journey to the cross focuses more on righteous anger as opposed to a lover’s anger.
Have you ever been so angry that you felt sick to the pit of your stomach? I have and there have been times when that anger has not been good for me, it has been selfish, has led to wrong behaviours and toxic thoughts and words and has only caused me pain. I can understand why Jesus warns us against anger. However is there ever a time when feeling angry is ok? The answer I believe is yes, just as long as it doesn’t cause us to sin.
There have been times when I have been angry, as I said and it hasn’t been healthy and it has led me to repent, however there have been other occasions for instance when I have heard a story of an injustice, watched something on the news, or have heard of a child being hurt in some way and what I can only describe as feelings of anger have risen out of my soul. What about this anger? Is this anger unhealthy too?
Our journey to the cross today gives us a little insight into what is known as righteous anger. As we heard yesterday Jesus made his entry into Jerusalem and as he enters he notices a Fig Tree without any leaves. (Mark 11:12-25) A fig tree was used as a representation of faithfulness to God. Only here the tree was without leaves and fruit. Now those around Jesus may have been perplexed as to why Jesus was so disturbed about this tree without fruit considering it was out of season , however perhaps this particular tree was a representation of what they were about to see.
As Jesus made his way into the temple he demonstrated an emotion that can only be described as anger. The same kind of anger that rises up in me when I see scenes of starving children on the news. What made Jesus angry was the sight of people using the temple as a marketplace. Filled with this ire he overthrew the tables. What about you, would this sight cause you to be angry? If you saw a bunch of robbers in your father’s house stealing and acting disrespectfully, would it cause you to be mad?
As you look around at the world today are there situations where God’s people and God’s house are being disrespected, where the name of Jesus is being dishonoured? Where people are being prevented from worshipping freely? Does this make you angry? Would you have reacted like Jesus?
I am not sure if we would have the same restraint as Jesus, to be angry but not to sin. However what we do have, what he has given us, is the gift of prayer. So is there a situation that is troubling you, an injustice, or someone that has been treated unfairly? Instead of worrying about it or becoming angry, why not commit to praying about it?
The morning after the incident at the temple Jesus can be found speaking with his disciples about two important lessons. The first we have already mentioned, prayer. In verse 24 he says “I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe that you’ve received it, it will be yours.” However he goes on to say if you are praying and you haven’t forgiven someone that you are still holding a grudge against, you must confess that. Maybe there is a link here between our anger and unforgiveness. So as we end today’s instalment in Jesus’s final week, is there someone that you are angry with, that you haven’t forgiven? Don’t waste another second, come before God and confess it. The bible says he is slow to anger and abounding in love. He forgives your sins. Don’t allow anger to prevent you from the freedom God has for you. Instead pray about it and allow his Grace to replace that anger with his peace.
Until next time