2005-12-15 - Jesus Angered
Mark 3:4-5 And He said to them, "Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save a life or to kill?" But they kept silent. 5 And after looking around at them with anger , grieved at their hardness of heart, He said to the man, "Stretch out your hand." And he stretched it out, and his hand was restored. (NASB)
We often get an idea of the peaceful, merciful Jesus. And, that facet of the life of our Lord is there. But there are others times. Like the time Jesus drove out the money changers from the temple. He also threw out the paid mourners at the home of Jarius when his daughter died and was resurrected by the Lord. There was the eight woes - Woes until you Scribes and Pharisees... Eight woes Jesus hammered away at the Jewish leaders.
Is there a place for anger? Yes, there is. In these three instances, and there are more, Jesus was indignant that the temple had been overrun with merchants, at the fake mourners who mocked Jesus' claim that the girl was sleeping, and the Jewish leadership that was far from God and taking the people with them. Do you think he was upset? Try, "sons of the dogs that murdered the Prophets". That's particularly pointed language. Jesus' anger was righteous. It was motivated by the desire to worship, glorify or lead the people to the Father.
We all get angry. Most of the time our motivations are not so pure. That someone who cuts us off in traffic, could just as well be us in a bad moment. Does it make it right? No. It's still dangerous to be that close at 65 miles per hour. But the mistake is an honest human error drifting into our lane, or not seeing you in a blind spot. Instead, be thankful that everyone is OK. These, but for the grace of God, go I. Take a deep breath, smile and move on. But there is a place for indignation. When a premeditated murder ends the God-given life of a human being, when those who claim to be leaders of the church will not stand up for the faith, when the world will attempt to defile the worship of God with its wares.
Jesus' anger was reserved for a specific few events. I suggest that each of us take a minute and hunt these instances down. It could be a very interesting exercise when we realize the motivation of Jesus' anger humbles our reasons in perspective.