In the temple courts he found men selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple area, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. To those who sold doves he said, “Get these out of here! How dare you turn my Father’s house into a market!”
His disciples remembered that it is written: “Zeal for your house will consume me.”
When we think of Christ, we most often think of His love, compassion, and forgiveness. All of these are important characteristics of Jesus. But we need to remember that these are only one side of Him.
There is such a thing as righteous anger and it is on display in the temple as Jesus drives away the money changers and salespeople. Jesus does not operate on raw emotion however. What He does is grounded in thought and truth.
Jesus is passionate about things, just like we are. While we may be passionate about music or sports, Jesus was passionate about doing what was right. When Jesus saw the temple sacrifices being turned into a money making scheme, He had to act to stop the wrongdoing.
When we think of Jesus or the attributes of God we need to remember that there is balance. While there is forgiveness there is also justice. Where there is mercy there is also vengeance.
While these characteristics may sound negative we must not put a human spin on things. Our justice is often incomplete or self serving. Our anger is usually not righteous. In Jesus they are displayed perfectly and in balance with all of His other characteristics.