I once had written correspondence with a person who had anger issues. He was trying hard to conquer his anger but could not get past the scriptures where Jesus overturned the money tables. He kept arguing that Jesus displayed anger, therefore it is acceptable. One thing he did not understand was the culture surrounding this event. The first time Jesus over turn the tables, in John 2:13-22, it was controlled zeal, not anger and He was making a statement that He was a prophet.
Throughout the Old Testament we see God telling the prophets to do strange things to get the peoples attention. One time he told the prophet Isaiah to go around naked and barefoot for three years, as a sign against Egypt and Cush. When Jesus overturned the tables the Jews did not rebuke Him, as if He was wrong in showing anger, but asked Him, in verses 18-21, “What sign do You show to us, seeing that You do these things?” They asked for a sign because one of the proofs that you are a prophet is that all your prophecies come true. Jesus gave them the sign of Jonah the prophet, in the belly of the whale 3 days. They of course misunderstood His prophecy, thinking He meant the actual temple, but He was talking about the temple of His body being destroyed and then raised up in three days. We must be careful not to confuse our modern ways with the culture of Jesus’s time.
Father, thank you for always showing us the truth of your word. Help us to diligently search for the truth, instead of picking out a verse that agrees with our flawed thinking. In the name of Jesus, amen