Jesus is gentle, but not “soft”

Last updated on October 21, 2021


And making a whip of cords, He drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and oxen. And He poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables.” (John 2:15)

Jesus says about Himself: “I am gentle and lowly in heart” (Matthew 11:29). This fits in with the stories about Jesus blessing the children, healing the sick and being crucified without defending Himself. It also reflects the prophecies of Isaiah, centuries earlier: “He was oppressed, and He was afflicted, yet He opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so He opened not his mouth” (Isaiah 53:7).

But being gentle does not mean that Jesus is soft or weak! When He went to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover feast, He saw that people misused God’s temple as a house of trade. They sold sacrificial animals in the temple courts that were meant as a place of prayer for non-Jewish people who were not allowed to enter the temple building itself. So, by making the temple courts into a place of trade, these merchants hindered others from worshiping the Lord in his temple.

Jesus became really angry with them. Making a whip of cords, He kicked them all out, together with their animals. As the Son of God, He had the right to do so, since the temple was his Father’s house.

Does Jesus’ reaction in this story surprise you? Why, or why not?

Share post