Jesus handled difficulties with gentleness. A description of Jesus is found in Isaiah 42: “He will not quarrel or cry out; no one will hear his voice in the streets. A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out, till he leads justice to victory. In his name the nations will put their hope” (Matthew 12:19-21).
But gentle Jesus could be driven to righteous indignation when that was appropriate. Once, “When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple courts he found men selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. So, he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple area, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. To those who sold doves he said, ‘Get these out of here! How dare you turn my Father’s house into a market!”
Jesus could not be described as an angry man. He was in fact a gentle man. But when the day called for righteous indignation, Jesus could in anger address the situation so there was no mistaking the problem or the solution. Jesus was right to cleanse God’s temple. There is a time and a place for anger to be used in service to God. May God always give us the wisdom to know when those times are appropriate.
What about the so-called righteous indignation in our cities where the protesters are rioting, looting, burning, assaulting, killing and destroying property? Is that justifiable? Of course not! A distinction must be made between righteous indignation and the unrighteous exploitation of a problem. Those who justify these unlawful and evil acts are not leading justice to victory like Jesus, but instead are bringing about chaos leading to our ultimate defeat. God, make us gentlemen who will stand up for righteousness, just like Jesus.