Note: This is the first post in a mini-series on Jesus’s righteous anger, and how we can respond to evil the way he did.
Masked people held cardboard signs on my newsfeed this morning:
“White counterprotesters mock Floyd’s killing.”[i]
I clicked on the picture to read about people calling good evil and evil funny.
In another video, flames swallowed a building and looters smashed glass.
“Officers are having rocks, liquor bottles and bricks thrown at them…” the report read.[ii]
Anger is ravaging our nation. But what should it look like for Christians?
Yes, Jesus commands us to love and forgive like he did. But he also reprimanded the hypocrites and upended the moneychangers’ tables. He didn’t sidestep evil; he took a sword and slashed at it.
Do not think I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword (Matt. 10:34).
That statement doesn’t always jive with how I imagine Jesus— children on his lap and hands reaching to heal.
But in Paul Miller’s book, Love Walked Among Us, he explains:
Even though honest can be painful and justice often separates, honesty and justice resolve injustice. Compassion without truth and justice is an ugly, spineless parody of love.[ii]
Compassion without truth and justice is an ugly, spineless parody of love.
Jesus got angry because he was compassionate.
He rebuked his disciples to make room for the children. He glowered at the Pharisees because they didn’t care about the man with a withered hand. He ravaged the temple because it wasn’t glorifying God.
Jesus got angry when his Father wasn’t being worshipped, and his anger always led to love, restoration, and God-glorification.
In a nation that’s seething right now, I want to look harder than ever to Jesus’s perfect example— to love like him and be angry like him.
. . .
[i] Shanahan, Tulley. (2020, June 10). White counterprotesters in Franklinville, N.J., mock George Floyd’s killing. The New York Times. Retrieved from https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/white-counterprotesters-in-franklinville-n-j-mock-george-floyd-s-killing/ar-BB15gsSz?ocid=msedgntp
[ii] Miller, Culver, Davis, Hauk, Shannon. (2020, May 28.) Federal authorities pledge ‘robust’ investigation into George Floyd’s death; Minnesota National Guard activated: What we know. USA Today. Retrieved from https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2020/05/28/george-floyd-updates-minneapolis-police-protests-fires-looting/5272579002/
[iii] Paul Miller, Love Walked Among Us. (NavPress: Colorado Spring, CO, 2014), 94.