by Lenny Cacchio
Jesus frequently gave it between the eyes to the religious leaders of his day. “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!” He called them blind guides and whitened sepulchers. Twice he entered the temple, turned over the tables of the official temple moneychangers and drove them out.
One could easily get the impression that Jesus was an angry man, and indeed at times he was. But I am going to invite a different take on Jesus and these passages from the gospels. Read them not from the viewpoint of his anger but from the perspective of his love.
Feel the love in his words. These passages are not angry outbursts, but pleas born of compassion. When Jesus says, “Woe to you,” instead of seeing the anger, feel the love. “What are you Pharisees doing to yourselves? O Jerusalem, Jerusalem! You who kill the prophets! Look what you’re doing!”
When he fed the multitudes with just a few loaves and fish, yet they still rejected him (John 6), feel his love when he asks them, “Does this offend you? … It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.” (Verses 61, 63).
Even the obvious outburst of anger when he overturned the tables of the moneychangers was motivated by his love for the people who lost time and again to the thieving ways of the temple officials.
Feel the love and do as he did. Be angry, but sin not at the sins of those around you. Respond with a plea and a teardrop. Call sin for what it is and shy not away from righteousness, but remember that Jesus said he did not come to judge the world but to save it. Leave the judging to the Judgment time. Right now is the time for saving.