Lent Devotional Day 5

Day 5
Sunday, February 26

John 2:13-25

13 It was nearly time for the Jewish Passover, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 He found in the temple those who were selling cattle, sheep, and doves, as well as those involved in exchanging currency sitting there. 15 He made a whip from ropes and chased them all out of the temple, including the cattle and the sheep. He scattered the coins and overturned the tables of those who exchanged currency. 16 He said to the dove sellers, “Get these things out of here! Don’t make my Father’s house a place of business.” 17 His disciples remembered that it is written, Passion for your house consumes me.[a]

18 Then the Jewish leaders asked him, “By what authority are you doing these things? What miraculous sign will you show us?”

19 Jesus answered, “Destroy this temple and in three days I’ll raise it up.”
20 The Jewish leaders replied, “It took forty-six years to build this temple, and you will raise it up in three days?” 21 But the temple Jesus was talking about was his body.22 After he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered what he had said, and they believed the scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken.

23 While Jesus was in Jerusalem for the Passover Festival, many believed in his name because they saw the miraculous signs that he did. 24 But Jesus didn’t trust himself to them because he knew all people. 25 He didn’t need anyone to tell him about human nature, for he knew what human nature was.


Whether it’s due to previous traumas or just the way we were raised, many of us tend to label certain emotions as “good” or “bad.” For example, many tend to think of anger or sadness as “bad” emotions, something that we shouldn’t let ourselves feel. But we are humans with a broad range of emotions, and these emotions are not “good” or “bad” but neutral, something we all are allowed to feel and really should feel from time to time.

While most know Jesus as a peaceful person, we do see occasional moments of righteous anger in the gospels, such as in John 2:13-25 when Jesus clears the temple. These crooked salesmen and money changers had made the house of worship a shopping mall, and Jesus was not pleased. I always find it a little funny to picture how this scene must have taken place. It says he actually takes the time to make his own whip out of rope and uses that to drive all the livestock into a stampede rushing out of the temple. Were the disciples just standing by watching in confusion, wondering why their teacher was suddenly so focused on some rope? After getting the livestock moving, Jesus flips the tables and coins crash to the ground and scatter everywhere – I’m picturing salesmen yelling and scrambling around frantically trying to collect their coins. But in the midst of all the chaos, Jesus pauses and commands that the doves in their cages be removed. He doesn’t throw the cages to the ground, which would hurt the doves. A touching moment that shows Jesus is fully in control of his anger and that this is not just some over-the-top emotional outburst that should be seen as “bad.”

It’s okay to fully feel your emotions. Even Jesus himself felt anger and sadness and the whole range of human emotion. Instead of labeling certain feelings as “good” or “bad,” I’ve started to sit with the emotion and just let it be. Sometimes it’s okay to feel angry about something. Sometimes it’s okay to feel sadness. We have a God who completely understands (after all, he did create emotions in the first place), and we can even read in scripture how Jesus experienced all of these feelings right along with us. Embrace your emotions, feel what you need to feel, and remember that you can always turn to a loving, understanding God in all situations.

By Parker Patton
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