Kids Talk About God
Chapter 10 cover: Righteous Anger in the Temple

Righteous Anger in the Temple

John 2:12-17

12 Then Jesus went to the town of Capernaum.10 His mother and brothers and his followers went with him. They all stayed there a few days.

Jesus at the Temple

13 It was almost time for the Jewish Passover,11 so Jesus went to Jerusalem. 14 There in the Temple12 area he saw men selling cattle, sheep, and doves. He saw others sitting at tables, exchanging and trading people’s money. 15 Jesus made a whip with some pieces of rope. Then he forced all these men and the sheep and cattle to leave the Temple area. He turned over the tables of the money traders and scattered their money. 16 Then he said to those who were selling pigeons, “Take these things out of here! Don’t make my Father’s house a place for buying and selling!”

    17 When this happened, his followers remembered what was written in the Scriptures13:

“My strong devotion to your Temple will destroy me.” 14

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10Capernaum A town on the northern shore of Lake Galilee where Jesus often spent time and taught.
11Passover A very important holy day for the people of Israel and their descendants. They ate a special meal on this day every year to remember that God made them free from slavery in Egypt in the time of Moses. The name may come from the word in Ex. 12:13, 23, 27 that means “to pass over” or “to protect.”
12Temple The permanent building in Jerusalem that replaced the portable “Holy Tent” that was used by the Israelites from the time of their wandering in the desert to the reign of King Solomon, when the first Temple was built. Like the Holy Tent, the Temple was the center of Israelite worship, although provision was made for it to be “a house of prayer for all nations” (Isa. 56:7).
13Scripture Part of the Scriptures or “Holy Writings”—the Old Testament.
14Psalm 69:9
When is it good to get angry?

“It’s okay to get mad when someone is not following God’s rules. Like if someone steals a toy from another person, it’s okay to get mad. The angry feeling can help you do something to make things better.” Talon, 6

“When we get angry for a good reason, we must be sure that our anger only targets sinful behavior and true injustice, is properly controlled and does not last for a long time or turn into bitterness.” Alice, 12

“I think we should get angry and hate evil and sin. It is not okay to hate each other, but it is okay to hate their sin.” Seth, 12


“Jesus was angry when he drove moneychangers out of the temple. This was righteous anger. It is okay to get angry if we know something is wrong, and the people who are doing it know it is wrong, too.

“If someone lies, for example, we have the right to be angry at him or her. But we should also remember that we have lied in the past and not be harder on them than we are on our self.

“You should not correct someone for doing a wrong thing if you have done the same thing or something else wrong and not resolved it. If you have done so, then first resolve it before correcting your friend.

“Yes, it’s okay to be angry, but only when you yourself have resolved your own problems, which could cause others to be angry at you! Otherwise, let someone who has resolved their problems handle it, and (you) handle your own problem.” Madalyne, 11

Most anger is a selfish kind of anger. We want our own way. Someone is keeping us from getting what we want. We get mad at that person. Anger leads to all kinds of sins. It leads to arguments, fights and even murder. Jesus talked about how anger and murder are related (Matthew 5:21-22).

Is it ever OK to get angry?

Yes. When Jesus made a whip and drove the moneychangers and sellers of animals out of the temple, do you think he was angry? He had to be angry to do what he did.

Why do you think Jesus was angry?

God gave the temple as a place of worship. The buying and selling of animals used for temple sacrifices had turned the temple into a marketplace. Besides selling animals, moneychangers exchanged money. The temple priests would not accept any money that had an image of a person or animal on it.

When Jesus told the merchants to get out of the temple, he made the religious leaders very mad at him. He knew that making them mad would lead to his death on a cross. He showed great courage in doing the right thing. If you are scared to do the right thing, you are more interested in pleasing people than pleasing God.

Is it difficult to imagine Jesus getting mad?

Spineless love is no love at all. Jesus loves God the Father. That’s why Jesus’ love for us means something. The Bible says, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). The kind of the love you experience is no better than the kind of the person who loves you.

We know that love rejoices in the truth (I Corinthians 13:6). We know that Jesus always tells us the truth because he is the truth (John 14:6). When we hear lies about Jesus, we should get mad.

One of the biggest lies about Jesus is that you can work your way to heaven by doing good deeds. Christians should get angry when they hear this lie. If this were true, it means that Jesus died on the cross for nothing. When Jesus hung on the cross, he said, “It is finished” (John 19:30). Jesus completed his mission to pay for all our sins. He now offers eternal life as a free gift to all who will trust him as their savior (Ephesians 2:8-9).

Jesus is the true light who gives spiritual light to every person in the world (John 1:9). Jesus told his disciples, “You are the light that gives light to the world. A city that is built on a hill cannot be hidden” (Matthew 5:14).

Most people like to believe lies that they have believed for a long time. Many that hear the truth want to hold onto their lies. If you let the light of truth shine into their dark lies, they will get mad.

When you speak the truth in love, please do it from a pure heart. Jesus said don’t try to remove a speck from someone else’s eye if you have a huge piece of wood in your own eye (Luke 6:41-42). Let’s look at an example. If you tell someone to always tell the truth, make sure you always tell the truth. Why would anyone listen to someone who tells lies?

The Apostle Paul wrote this: “Your love must be real. Hate the things that are evil. Do only the things that are good” (Romans 12:9).

He also wrote this: “Say only good things to those people that do bad things to you. Say good things to them and don’t curse them. When other people are happy, you should be happy with them. And when other people are sad, you should be sad with them. Live together in peace with each other. Don’t be proud. Be willing to be friends with people who are not important to other people. Don’t be conceited” (Romans 12:14-16).

Every Christian lives in a world where there are many things that are not fair. Some people will hate you because you love Jesus. God wants us to love and bless those who do wrong to us. This is one of the ways we can show them the love of Jesus.

We should be people of compassion. We should be happy with those who are happy and be sad with those who are sad. We should be first to speak up for those who suffer from being treated unfairly. We should bless those who treat us unfairly because we love Jesus.

The Apostle Paul wrote: “When you become angry, don’t let that anger make you sin. And don’t continue to be angry all day. Don’t give the devil a way to defeat you” (Ephesians 4:26-27).

Think about this: Jesus got angry at those who used his father’s house to make money (John 2:12-17). He also got angry at the hardness of heart that religious leaders showed when they tried to trap him (Mark 3:4-6).

Memorize this truth: Ephesians 4:26-27 quoted above.

Ask this question: Do you get angry at the things that made Jesus angry?

Draw something to go with the headline.
Chapter 10 Bible coloring page: Jesus drive out the moneychangers

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