Words from the Vicar
I am a fan of John Bell from the Iona community; Pete and I got talking about him following him speaking at my online retreat with Los Olivos.
Last week Pete gave me a few of his talks. So last Sunday afternoon there I was trying to write up the Area Dean’s advert and Pathways application to get to the Bishops office, so I thought, I know I will listen to John Bell at the same time.
The talk was about Jesus being angry and not being a nice guy and how we don’t really like it, it unsettles us. We cover it up with all kind of Jesus passive, gentle, meek and mild, just look at carols and hymns.
So our story from the gospel of Jesus holding a whip and turning over the money changers tables is probably for many of us the only time we can say that Jesus got angry, Jesus was creating chaos and havoc.
And yet throughout the bible we see Jesus provoking people to outrage, and with anger. In Mark 3:5 He looked around at them with anger; he was grieved at their hardness of heart and said to the man, ‘Stretch out your hand.’ He stretched it out, and his hand was restored. He called the Pharisees “white-washed tombs!” He told Peter ‘get behind me Satan!’ He got people so angry that people wanted to throw stones at him, they wanted him dead. And then what did the fig tree do to Jesus, that Jesus wanted it dead.
He provoked people to outrage
So what would you have done?
Join in, walk away, or tell Jesus to stop?
Anger is an emotion that affects each one of us and there are times when it is right to get angry – when we see injustice, wrong doing, cruelty or corruption. But also it is not about seeing Jesus as meek or fragile, but as being fully human as well as fully God, he had holy human emotions. For me it makes Jesus more real and alive.