Summary: We all deal with the emotion ANGER... is it WRONG for the believer to experience ANGER? In our text today we look at an incident that many believers shy away from and are even a bit embarrassed about in the life of Jesus, but we learn from Jesus that ange
Date Written: September 2, 2010
Date Preached: February 24, 2002; Edited September 2, 2010
Church: OPBC (AM)
Series: Recognizing and Responding to the Living Word
Title: The Angry Jesus
Text: John 2:13-22 [Read all verses now]
Have you ever been ANGRY...I mean really angry! I know I have, if you have driven in New Orleans traffic you have been angry... I told yall a couple of weeks ago that I saw a Tshirt that about said it all... it said, "I don’t have an anger problem... I have an idiot problem!"
But I know that there are some things in this world that rile my dander... if you know what I mean! I mean what’s the deal with our bodies... I tried to go play ball the other day and I couldn’t walk for 2 days! I get sore just sitting at the computer! What is up with that?
And don’t get me started on the government... why do they insist that I and my fellow citizens who have worked hard and paid our own way... why they feel the need to FORCE us to pay for health care for others! Where does it say that in our Constitution?
I get angry with politicians who say they support a position in the campaign and then when they are elected they suddenly begin to think it not so important of an issue to ’rock the boat’ over...
I get angry with a lot of things as a citizen and as a man in our country, but as your pastor, I get angry with a lot of things as well...
I get angry at the constant barrage of Satan on our fellowship... seeking to destroy our joy and disrupt any unity...
I get angry with seeing good decent Christian people who have to endure harsh and difficult times...
I get angry with prevailing attitude in our society that says that ALL Christians are judgmental and hypocritical...
I get angry at myself when I do what I am NOT supposed to do...
I get angry at myself when I am NOT doing what I know I should be doing...
I get angry at those in the church who SEEM to place tradition and personal preference over righteousness and living according to Scripture...
I get angry at so many, many things... and when I do... I am attacked by the enemy! He comes to my ear and plants seeds of doubt and depression... telling me that I am a failure... that I should not get angry... telling me that me being angry is not very Christian like!
And I know that I am NOT the only one in this boat! Am I? Can I get a witness up in here? Have you ever been angry about something?
Well, when most believers read this passage in John, they have a tendency to become a little uncomfortable with how Jesus is portrayed. Jesus is portrayed as angry!
In fact, there are MANY professing believers who read this passage and they find the anger portrayed by Jesus in these verses as something of an embarrassment to them and to Christianity! When you ask them about it, most of the time they don’t want to talk about it, and they will retreat into a shell that refuses to share Christ!
WHY is that? Why do believers have SO much trepidation when it comes to this passage and the concept that Jesus could be angry? Well I believe that the reasons can be many, but I think the most evident reason for this is that MOST believers fall prey to the enemy and are duped by his lies and they fall into the category where they equate anger with sin...but that is NOT what the Bible tells us about anger...
When we read scripture, we see the book of James encouraging believers to be ’slow to anger’. In the OT we can go to the book of Ecc where Solomon warned all who would read..."Be not quick to anger, for anger lodges in the bosom of fools."
The Apostle Paul teaches, in his letter to the Ephesian church, that we CAN be angry, but he DOES caution us, "...do not sin, do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil..." [Eph 4:26-27]
Here is what I have found out by studying Scripture... ANGER in and of itself is NOT an inappropriate emotion for us to have... In studying some of the early church fathers, Jerome said, "The greatest anger of all is when God is no longer angry with us when we sin..."
That really makes sense when we think about it...for God to give up on his people is a far greater terror than for Him to show His anger toward us. We can be grateful that "the Lord is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love..." Ps 145:8