Actually, he did! And he was completely right in feeling that way.

Every year, Jewish people were required by the Law to come to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover, a special Jewish festival. It was the custom to offer an animal for sacrifice, either to show thankfulness, ask for forgiveness, or show devotion to God. When people traveled from so far away, they didn’t usually bring an animal with them, so they had to buy one at the temple. Merchants purposely sold pigeons, doves, lambs and other animals at very high prices because they knew the people had to buy them.

There was also a special kind of coin called “the shekel of the sanctuary.” This was the only type of money the merchants would accept, so people had to exchange their local money for the special temple money. Moneychangers purposely tricked foreigners who didn’t understand the exchange rates. This means they charged them more than they should have so they could keep extra money for themselves.

To see this cheating in his Father’s house angered Jesus. Matthew (21:12,13 NLT) says, “Jesus entered the Temple and began to drive out all the people buying and selling animals for sacrifice. He knocked over the tables of the money changers and the chairs of those selling doves. He said to them, “The Scriptures declare, ‘My Temple will be called a house of prayer,’ but you have turned it into a den of thieves!”

In another example, Jesus was often angry at the Scribes and Pharisees, the Jewish leaders at the time. He called them “hypocrites,” which is a person who says one thing but then secretly acts in the opposite way. These so-called leaders pretended to love God and follow the Law, but they were actually more like bullies. Many times they tried to get Jesus in trouble with trick questions so that he would appear as though he didn’t know God’s Law, but Jesus saw through their traps and was never deceived. 

So, did Jesus ever get angry? Yes, he did, and his anger was always correct and reasonable. Although we cannot read people's hearts, Jesus can – he knows when people mean to cheat, steal or lie.   He also pointed out how the Scribes and Pharisees pretended to live holy lives when inside their hearts were dishonest and greedy.

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