Sunday, January 04, 2009

Reasons to Love Jesus: #4 His Anger

Jesus became angry at the right time for appropriate reasons. His anger was never driven by selfishness, narcissism, or fear.

Jesus Christ became angry when someone used religion in an inappropriate way.

"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!'" (John 2:13-16).

Jesus Christ became indignant when children were mistreated and not allowed to approach him.

"People were bringing little children to Jesus to have him touch them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, 'Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.' And he took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them" (Mark 10:13-16).

Jesus Christ became angry and distressed when people allowed rules to stand in the way of helping others who were hurting.

"Another time he went into the synagogue, and a man with a shriveled hand was there. Some of them were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, so they watched him closely to see if he would heal him on the Sabbath. Jesus said to the man with the shriveled hand, 'Stand up in front of everyone.'

"Then Jesus asked them, 'Which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?' But they remained silent.

"He looked around at them in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts, said to the man, 'Stretch out your hand.' He stretched it out, and his hand was completely restored" (Mark 3:1-5).



Another thing about his anger is that it wasn't ever manifested in an un-thought-through and spontaneous way.

In Mark 11:11 we learn that Jesus went up to the temple but left because it was already late. The implication is that he wanted a crowd to see his anger.

The incident with the man whose hand he healed was not done in white-hot anger either, because he made the man stand up, and taught the people first, making a show of the healing as a rebuke.

Similarly, the incident with the children and the disciples was designed to teach something important to them about divorce: the anger Jesus has is for people whose lack of love for each other causes children to grow up believing that love is impossible, a figurative stumbling block.

Interesting post, thanks.

Terry said...

Wow! Thanks for the insightful comments. Please feel free to leave comments at any time. That was outstanding!


Thanks. I've been enjoying your blog!

Power to your elbow.


Matthew said...

This is not something that is typically mentioned for reasons to love God, but is very true. Good and thoughtful post.

Terry said...

Thanks, Matthew! One reason I find Christ compelling is his anger. It shows how much he cares about God, children, and the disabled (and by implication, everyone who has need). I appreciate your comment.