Temper Tantrum (Read: John 2:13-25)

By: Pastor Jarren Rogers

I’ve always appreciated a well-executed temper tantrum.

When a child is adamant about getting what they want they won’t allow anything to get the way.

I’ll kick my feet, pound my fists, hold my breath, and give my loudest scream. The best temper tantrums never consider the time or place. Anywhere is fair game: church, a grocery store, middle of the night.

Why do children dedicate so much anger, energy, and time to making their requests known to the world? I want it! And I want it now!

Many times, it’s simply the innocent albeit exhausting selfishness of a child. In the mind of an adolescent, everything revolves around them. We’ve necessarily catered their needs since they were infants, so it’s no surprise they act out of narcissism. Ask any parent of a newborn and they’ll assure you that their world really does revolve around their baby. And as that baby grows, their world sometimes doesn’t stop turning.

In John 2, we see what may be described as a divine temper tantrum. Tables are overturned and coins are scattered. Christ makes a whip and snaps it around, scaring the animals and people out of the temple courts.

Many times, we see this episode as an example of Jesus’ anger. That His temper rose and exploded into a rumble of divine justice.

But that’s not what Scripture says.

To those who sold doves he said, “Get these out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a market!” His disciples remembered that it is written: “Zeal for your house will consume me” (John 2:16-17).

Jesus’s actions in this passage are not a reaction born from anger, but Scripture tells us it is instead an act of “zeal”.

The Greek word that is translated as zeal here can also be translated as jealousy.

It seems that Christ is not so much angry as He is determined. This isn’t an action rooted in selfishness or rage, rather of passion and jealousy.

Like a spouse who finds their partner with another person, Christ finds His father’s house perverted by consumerism and trading, and He’s jealous.

Jesus tells us a lot about who our God is. Just as Jesus was overwhelmed with zeal because the temple was desecrated, we have to believe that God feels the same way about the “temple of His Holy Spirit.”

He is jealous for the space that is taken up by impurity and sin.

What are some things in your life that Jesus would be shuffling out? What are some habits that He would overturn or addiction that would be scattered?

Christ wants to run rampant in our lives. He wants to have a tantrum, not out of anger, but out of love! He wants to remove anything that would harm us or stand in the way of a perfect relationship with Him.

The question is: Will you open wide the doors of your temple or will you chain them closed?

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