I read John 2 recently, about the clearing of the temple. This passage is often cited for the idea of “righteous anger”—it’s okay to get angry if it’s for a good reason. I think that’s true. But take it one step further—what did Jesus get angry about? I think at the core it was a justice issue.

What made Jesus angry was people setting up shop in the temple courts. By its very location, this excluded gentiles. Then there was the issue of the temple inspectors. As people would bring their gifts, the inspectors could declare some animals unclean. People would then have to purchase the temple animals with money. It would have been rather easy to sneak the original animals around back and resell them at a profit. I can’t prove that this was happening, but it is clear that the temple inspectors knew they were doing something wrong. When confronted, they didn’t ask what problem Jesus had with what they were doing. They just asked him by what authority he was driving them out.

Look around the world today. What would anger Jesus? In what ways do we get upset at what upsets God? What are we doing about it?