The Proper Time For Righteous Indignation: Brett Kavanaugh And Jesus

There are some who condemn Judge Brett Kavanaugh for his anger before the Senate. A few believe that showing anger in the presence of Senators is a sign that judge Kavanaugh does not have the judicial temperament to be a Supreme Court Justice.

When we examine Jesus before the Pharisees, we see a similar reaction to their hypocrisy and in the presence of the moneychangers at the Temple.

Every confrontation Jesus had with the leaders of Israel infuriated them. Jesus condemned the religious activities of the entire institution of the Sanhedrin. He stood in opposition to the manner in which they observed the Sabbath. He condemned the men who were responsible for the laws of Israel as a “brood of vipers.”

One of the most scathing accusations by Jesus against the scribes and the Pharisees was the declaration that they were false teachers, who led the people away from God. On the outside, these men appeared perfect; while on the inside, their hearts served only their own personal agenda. Jesus’ entire indictment against the scribes and Pharisees is included in the text from Matthew 23:13-39.

Jesus Pronounces Eight “Woes” Upon The Religious Leaders Of Israel.

Matthew 23:13-39

  1. Verse 13: Preventing people from finding salvation by false teaching
  2. Verse 14: Taking advantage of helpless people and pretending to be holy
  3. Verse 15: Leading people into damnation by failing to give them the truth
  4. Verses 16-22: Misleading by religious ritual instead of simple worship of God
  5. Verses 23-24: Following the letter of the Law without understanding the purpose of the law: Mercy, Justice, Faith
  6. Verses 25-26: Appearing externally righteous while internally having a heart that is evil and corrupt
  7. Verses 27 and 28: Again, appearing to be good outwardly; while inside the heart, they were full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.
  8. Verses 29-37: Honoring the prophets of old by monuments while killing them when they brought charges against the sins of their religious leaders

Because of Jesus’ open indictment against the leaders of the Sanhedrin, they had become fearful that the people might remove them from their great positions of authority. These men had become rich because of their titles as well as the achievement of great honor in the community. In this, we can see that the true motivation of the members of the Sanhedrin was to silence Jesus in order to protect their careers, incomes, and status.

We see similar fear in the Democratic Senate who believe that should Brett Kavanaugh be seated as a Supreme Court Justice, he will work to overturn Roe v. Wade, and gay marriage. This will lead their constituents removing them from their exalted positions of leadership.

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According to the laws of Israel, anyone who had a predisposition to this kind of prejudice should be recused from judgement against the one to whom they hold a particular bias.

“There must not be on the judicial bench either a relation, or a particular friend, or an enemy of either the accused or the accuser” -Mendelsohn

Of course, none of these men removed themselves from judgement over Jesus, as the majority held a great vehemence towards Him. Though these men were clearly prejudiced against Jesus and were quite vindictive towards Him, they carried out their judgment and asked that He be put to death by crucifixion—the most brutal of all methods of death.

“Nor under any circumstances was a man known to be at enmity with the accused person permitted to occupy a position among his judges” -Benny

The scriptures predicted that the Messiah would be hated for no just cause, even though He is dying for the sins of the world.

“Those who hate me without a cause Are more than the hairs of my head; They are mighty who would destroy me, Being my enemies wrongfully; Though I have stolen nothing, I still must restore it.” —Psalms 69:4

Jesus Condemns The Moneychangers

Jesus enters the Court of the Gentiles only to find the moneychangers and the sellers of animals for a sacrifice filling up this section of the temple that had been set aside specifically for Gentiles to worship God.

Jesus was a strong and powerful man who had worked with His hands for much of His life in Nazareth as a carpenter. Without pause He lifts one table after another, overturning the coins, the cages, and the clutter that has filled the House of the Lord. Not a soul stands in opposition; His authority is ominous; His determination—absolute.

In this, His first act after the fulfillment of Daniel’s prophecy as the Son of Man—Jesus asserts His right as the Messiah to cleanse the House of the Lord and instruct the people in the correct manner in which God is to be honored and worshipped.

From this point in the outer court, no Gentile could safely travel any closer to the Temple itself without exposing himself to certain death. The Soreg wall separated the Court of the Gentiles from the Inner Court and Holy of Holies by an ominous sign, warning any trespasser of the consequences of breaching this barrier.

A sign posted on the Soreg Wall stated:

“No foreigner may enter within the barricade which surrounds the temple and enclosure. anyone who is caught doing so will have himself to thank for his ensuing death.”

The presence of the moneychangers in this location of the Temple meant that there was little space in the court of the Gentiles to worship God. Added to this serious problem was the tremendous distractions caused by all of the noise and confusion of vendors converting currency and selling animals for the sacrifices that would be brought to the priests.

Often, when foreigners who had traveled great distances finally arrived at the temple, they would bring their animals to the Court of the Gentiles where they were met by priests who would evaluate their animals for flaws. If one hair was the wrong color, or any feature even slightly irregular, the animal they had brought for their sacrifice would be rejected.

Here in the Court of the Gentiles, merchants had set up tables where unacceptable animals could be exchanged for those that met the strict requirements for perfection—at a greatly inflated price, of course.

The merchandizing of God’s House, the distractions caused by the selling of goods, and the making of profit from people who simply came to worship God was totally unacceptable to Jesus. Those who seek to enrich themselves by taking advantage of God’s people are an abomination to the Lord.

Jesus’ concern was in the massive distractions that were occurring in the Court of the Gentiles: the high cost of animals for the sacrifice, the large fees associated with converting foreign currency, and the unavailability of space to simply come and worship God.

In fulfillment of Malachi’s prophecy, Jesus comes suddenly to the temple and immediately cleanses it of those who were inappropriately preventing others from having the important experience of worship in the House of the Lord.

There are some who have condemned Jesus for His righteous indignation before the Pharisees and the Moneychangers. Jesus demonstrated that there are times and places where it is proper to stand against unrighteous persons who are acting improperly.

Brett Kavanaugh And The Senate

It is interesting that the same critics who condemned Judge Kavanaugh for not being a strong enough advocate for certain groups of people, condemned him when he exhibited the strength of righteous indignation over being falsely accused. A judge must be both compassionate and strong, depending upon the circumstances before him.

When anyone is having their life ruined by liars who assert facts that are untrue and his family, career, and reputation are being gravely injured by lies, they should act precisely as Brett Kavanaugh showed us before the Senate.

When The Lord Of Heaven Defends You

The primary point that we should give the most attention to is that when people treat us as they did Jesus and Brett Kavanaugh, God will become our defender and provide our exoneration. Those who come against we who love God and seek to live for Him, will find that they do not have to worry about the outcome of these moments of confrontation and false witness. God will come to our aide and stand against every enemy. Those who fight against those who love the Lord, will find themselves fighting against God Himself.

Gamaliel told the Pharisees that they should be careful in opposing Jesus, for they might find that they are taking up an assault against God, from where they have no chance of overcoming.

So my advice is, leave these men alone. Let them go. If they are planning and doing these things merely on their own, it will soon be overthrown. But if it is from God, you will not be able to overthrow them. You may even find yourselves fighting against God! ~Acts 5:38-39 (NLT) 

From these examples of Jesus in the New Testament, showing us when righteous indignation is proper, we can have confidence that strength in the presence of unrighteousness is not only proper, but required. Someday every person who has lived upon the earth will stand before God and give an account for their life. We should remember this before we speak a word or take actions that harm the reputations, lives, and families of good people.


Categories: Brett Kavanaugh, Do not imitate evil, Doing good for enemies, Forgiving People, Hated by the world, Living For Jesus, No Compromise, Overcoming trials, Speaking out against sin, The U.S. Constitution

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1 reply

  1. Well said Pastor Rob, the lives of the christians and the unborn children have been under assault for many years. God will prevail regardless of what these politicians say or do. They will be the ones who have to answer for those particular sins. We as Christians can only try to show them there is a better way if they will only have Christ in their hearts and believe. JESUS WINS !


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