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  • Scott Johnson

Righteous Anger



In the morning, as Jesus was returning to Jerusalem, he was hungry, and he noticed a fig tree beside the road. He went over to see if there were any figs, but there were only leaves. Then he said to it, “May you never bear fruit again!” And immediately the fig tree withered up. The disciples were amazed when they saw this and asked, “How did the fig tree wither so quickly?” (Matthew 21:18-20)

Most of my life I have heard these scriptures and wondered why Jesus was so angry? And why did He take it out on the tree? But this was an acted-out parable. Jesus was showing his anger at religion without substance.

Just before these verses, Jesus clears the temple of many different people selling animals for sacrifice tables of the money changers. You see people were coming from far away that use a different currency, and while they change their currency, they were being ripped off. The money changers were not accurately changing currency and were pocketing the difference. People were selling animals for sacrifice at an exaggerated rate. People were being taken advantage of. And just a few verses after Matthew 21:18-20 we again see the leading priests and elders looking for conversations that advance their goals not advance the truth.

Jesus was righteously upset at this type of action and thinking. He used the fig tree to display that a tree may look right from afar. It looked healthy and that it would bear fruit but when you look closer, the only thing that the tree had growing were the leaves. The same goes for us. We may look right from afar; our actions seem spiritual. The conversations we have appear to be upright and wise, but when we look closer, they are superficial. Are your actions like the leaves on the fig tree? You look right from afar, but if looked at close up no fruit would be available?

How do we do an internal check? How do we make sure we never begin to live by our understanding and abilities? Does your life look similar during the week?

Let's Be Christians That Do Something!

We too can experience a righteous anger. There are things within this world that can cause us to become angry, upset that this type of sinful action and selfish thinking would affect others. There are children in this world that are taken advantage of, treated as workers to earn money, sold into sex slavery. This is not okay, and we are right to be indignant about this type of treatment. Too often we are passive about these kinds of issues and instead get angry over personal insults and petty irritations.

Today look at your spiritual walk. Do you bear fruit? Is your life the same Monday as it is Sunday? Or do you put on an act Sunday because you are at church? Are you living for yourself or Christ? Let’s first live in every way for Christ, that He would direct all we say and do. Then let’s be the Christians that do something. That get upset and angry at the sinful actions of man. And make sure that everyone experiences the love of Christ.

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