Andrew Fountain - Anger and Love in the Temple

  • What exactly made Jesus so angry?
  • Why did he gave such a strange answer to the Pharisees?
  • When we can truly resonate with Jesus’ anger and feel his love, we can get what this story is all about.


Sermon Outline - Anger and Love in the Temple


  • To understand Jesus’s anger
  • and Feel his love towards us.

Quick Recap

  1. The extraordinary poem hidden in the first 18 verses of John [1:1–18]
    • In our modern, organized minds, we want the truth laid out in 7 simple steps. But what the Bible often gives us is a Michelangelo painting
  2. Why the very first believers were so drawn to Jesus [1:19–51]
  3. A Different Take on turning Water into Wine [2:1–11]

Anger and Love in the Temple

  1. A close reading of the story
  2. A couple of critical questions
  3. How Jesus speaks to us in this story

John 2:12–25

  1. After this he went down to Capernaum with his mother and brothers and his disciples, and they stayed there a few days.
  2. Now the Jewish feast of Passover was near, so Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
  3. He found in the temple courts those who were selling oxen and sheep and doves, and the money changers sitting at tables.
  4. So he made a whip of cords and drove them all out of the temple courts, with the sheep and the oxen. He scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables.
  5. To those who sold the doves he said, “Take these things away from here! Do not make my Father’s house a marketplace!”
  6. His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for your house will devour me.”
  7. So then the Jewish leaders responded, “What sign can you show us, since you are doing these things?”
  8. Jesus replied, “Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up again.”
  9. Then the Jewish leaders said to him, “This temple has been under construction for forty-six years, and are you going to raise it up in three days?”
  10. But Jesus was speaking about the temple of his body.
  11. So after he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they believed the scripture and the saying that Jesus had spoken.
  12. Now while Jesus was in Jerusalem at the feast of the Passover, many people believed in his name because they saw the miraculous signs he was doing.
  13. But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, because he knew all people.
  14. He did not need anyone to testify about people, for he knew what was in people.
  15. Now a certain person, a Pharisee named Nicodemus… came to Jesus at night


  1. A few days—time for the story to reach Jerusalem
    • Very different to the previous story
  2. Why did Jesus get so angry?
    • This is going to be one of my main points
    • People had come a long way
    • Tyrian half-shekels
  3. Why didn’t anyone stop him? How could one man do this?
    • Shock? Guilt?
  4. Odd kind of a challenge. Why not challenge authority?
    • Maybe guilt? Had heard about Cana?
  5. Why answer in such a strange way? How did it help? Why not point out the sin?
    • There was no need to repeat what he said about the sin
    • There was another dimension to the problem with the temple. Even if perfect, something much better was required.
    • talk about this shortly
  6. Why not give them any explanation? What was the point or purpose?
    • If Jesus had been explicit, they would have arrested him right away
    • But he did not want to dumb down the truth
    • So he made it like a test of their interest
      • This is setting us up for ch.3
  7. Note that we are the temple as well, but we are built on him, the foundation stone
  8. Did he start these after the incident?
    • That is how the story reads
    • Why nothing about the response to the event?
      • for ch 3
  9. What is the point of this?
    • John’s interest in belief
    • It sounds negative, but the next two stories are going to make it very positive!
  10. Why repeat it in this odd way?
    • Set up for ch3


  • To Nathanael
    “Because I said to you. I saw you… (do) you believe(?).”
  • At Cana
    “His disciples believed in him.”
  • At Jerusalem
    “His disciples remembered that it was written… ”
    “His disciples remembered that he had said this, and they believed the scripture and the word which Jesus spoke.”

2. A couple of critical questions

Why was Jesus so angry?

  1. Horrible misrepresentation of someone he loved so dearly.
  2. The people he loved were not being shown the way to life.

Fake drugs

Fake drugs

Image source:

  • How does this make you feel?
  • This is exactly what is happening—people are coming to the passover guilty and broken
    • They need to meet with God, know they are forgiven, and feel his love
    • Instead it seems God just wants their money
  • Does this not make you angry?

Why the part about “temple of his body”

  • The temple was a very imperfect way of meeting the Father
  • Jesus is the sacrifice, he is the place where we take in God’s love

3. How Jesus speaks to us in this story

  • What do you think of when you think of coming into God’s presence?
    Jesus wants to re-write the story for you!
  • Are you angry at the distortions of God out there?
  • Jesus knows what is in you, and this is not scarey!

Updated on 2019-10-06 by Andrew Fountain