When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple courts he found people 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 courts, 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! Stop turning my Father’s house into a market!”

John 2:13-16


Have you ever been so upset about an injustice that you—as the saying goes—cry blue murder? When I introduced this series on Jesus, calling it Jesus Up Close, I was hoping that we could—through my writing and your reading—find a way to come closer to him. He himself said, “Come to me.”  (Matthew 11:28) With this piece you may see that you can relate to Jesus in a way you hadn’t realized.

When I read the verses above, I’m reminded of times when I was red-hot angry over wrongs I’d experienced, publishing my feelings online. Many Christians frown on such behavior, saying it’s sinful. “In your anger do not sin” (Ephesians 4:26) They say that God tells us to forgive and forget.

But what about injustice? What about the injustice Jesus saw in the temple? Should he just have looked, forgiven, and walked away?

Some sins should make us angry—righteously so. Righteous indignation is being angry at what makes God angry. And how can we leave unchallenged those things that are evil in God’s eyes? Imagine if we turned a blind eye to all the wrongs present in the world. Would we just accept the inhumane way some people are treated? Would we accept discrimination and do nothing to fight against it?

But the righteous anger displayed by Jesus showed a measure of grief as well, not only infuriation. In Mark 3:5, for example,  Jesus responded to some who were waiting to catch him healing someone on the Sabbath. This would be in opposition to their laws. He looked around at them in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts, said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was completely restored. (Mark 3:5)

When we are angry but have no tears over the evil committed we are often showing a lack of love.

Righteous anger is necessary. It’s the response that followers of Christ need to have. Anger towards wrong-doing, not only on our own behalf, but because many are being wronged. When we’re angry, we are moved to act. We need to have a fire in us if we’re going to make a difference. How could Jesus have done all he did if he didn’t have such a fire in him?

Do you feel passionate about an injustice you see in the world? Do you ever feel red-hot angry when you look at the wrong-doings in our world?

Jesus says, “Come to me.” Join with me in making a better world possible. I’ll be right beside you, working with you.