Wednesday, March 20, 2024

The Day Jesus Got Mad

And he stopped everyone from using the Temple as a marketplace. (Mark 11:16 NLT)

If you’ve ever watched a Western, then you know that if you want to make a point, you turn over a table.

After Jesus rode into Jerusalem on the back of a donkey, He entered the temple in Jerusalem, looked around, and assessed the situation. Then He returned the next day, and He began to cleanse the temple by driving out the merchants and turning over their tables.

Mark gives us these details in his Gospel: “When they arrived back in Jerusalem, Jesus entered the Temple and began to drive out the people buying and selling animals for sacrifices. He knocked over the tables of the money changers and the chairs of those selling doves” (Mark 11:15 NLT).

Maybe you’re thinking, “Now, wait a second. I thought Jesus was meek and mild. Isn’t that how a Christian should be?”

Let’s understand what that means. Jesus did say, “I am humble and gentle at heart” (Matthew 11:29 NLT). The problem is that we sometimes equate meekness with weakness. We think that to be a Christian, we need to be soft-spoken. That’s what we think meekness is. But that isn’t meekness; that is just quietness.

The image of Jesus knocking over tables and chairs of the money changers isn’t what we’re used to. As a matter of fact, in the way artists portray Jesus in traditional religious art, He doesn’t look like He could turn over a chair, much less a table.

But the Jesus of the New Testament, the real Jesus, was a man’s man. He was strong. The merchants’ tables weren’t little temporary folding tables. Rather, they were massive tables made of heavy wood, maybe even marble. And Jesus turned them over. It was complete chaos as doves flew out of their cages and money flew everywhere.

Meekness is not weakness. It is power under constraint. Meekness is being able to do something and choosing not to. Weakness, on the other hand, is not being able to do anything. That is the difference.

Jesus was applying meekness. He was indignant and angry because they were hurting God’s people. He told them, “The Scriptures declare, ‘My Temple will be called a house of prayer for all nations,’ but you have turned it into a den of thieves” (Mark 11:17 NLT).

They were preventing people from worshipping the Lord. Instead of praying for the people, these religious leaders were preying on the people. If worshippers wanted to pay the temple tax, they had to exchange their money for special half shekels in the sanctuary, which were the only form of currency the temple accepted. But it came at a hiked-up price.

The same was true for sacrificial animals. If people brought in their own animals to sacrifice, the animals would be rejected, which forced them to buy the merchants’ more expensive animals.

The bottom line is the merchants were keeping people away from God. And that made God angry. Very angry. In the same way, we need to ask ourselves this question: Am I a bridge or a barrier to people coming to Christ?

Copyright © 2024 by Harvest Ministries. All rights reserved.

For more relevant and biblical teaching from Pastor Greg Laurie, go to
Listen to Greg Laurie's daily broadcast on

Watch Greg Laurie's weekly television broadcast on

new believers growth book greg laurie devo offerIn thanks for your gift, you can receive a copy of Ben Born Again's New Believer's Growth Book by Greg Laurie

Cartoon companions Ben Born Again and YellowDog teach kids how to read the Bible, how to pray, how to know the will of God, how to resist temptation, and much more in this engaging resource written for children. A copy will be sent to you for a gift of any amount to Harvest Ministries this month.

Click here to find out more!