When Jesus Became Angry

It is difficult to imagine that Jesus Christ became angry. On at least three occasions the scripture show the frustration of the Lord at those who are hardened of heart; those who cannot see His great mission; and those who intend to usurp the plan God has set forth in His Son. The gospel writer Mark bears record of these three events.

"And He entered the synagogue again, and a man was there who had a withered hand. So they watched Him closely, whether He would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse Him. And He said to the man who had the withered hand, 'Step forward.' Then He said to them, 'Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?' But they kept silent. And when He had looked around at them with anger, being grieved by the hardness of their hearts, He said to the man, 'Stretch out your hand.' And he stretched it out, and his hand was restored as whole as the other. Then the Pharisees went out and immediately plotted with the Herodians against Him, how they might destroy Him" (Mark 3:1-6). It would seem incredulous that in the face of such a powerful miracle that any would doubt. But the nature of man when he is threatened will bring out a hardened heart of unbelief. What more could Jesus do to prove He was the Son of God? Why do men go out and plo t the death of a man who can do powerful miracles (see also John 11 . esp. v53).

Jesus was angry because of the sin that overwhelmed man and closed his eyes to His Father. His righteous indignation was fueled by the sad reality of the unwillingness of man to believe in Him. The Pharisees were more concerned about Jesus healing on the Sabbath than to realize they were expecting Jesus to do a miracle - this is the total depravation of man. The invisible attributes of God are clearly seen and there is no excuse for ignorance (Romans 1:20).

"And He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. He spoke this word openly. Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him. But when He had turned around and looked at His disciples, He rebuked Peter, saying, 'Get behind Me, Satan! For you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men'" (Mark 8:31-33). Who did Peter think he was? Telling the story of His suffering and death would have been dramatic for Jesus. He understood clearly His mission and His work. His heart was in complete obedience to the will of the Father (Hebrews 5:8) and in the garden He struggled with the shadow of His cross (Matthew 26:36-42). Now Peter rebukes Jesus and tries to dissuade the Lord from what lay before Him? Notice that Jesus turns to the rest of the disciples and rebukes Peter.

Do we feel as if God really does not know what He is doing and we must change His will? Many today (like Peter) are willing to rebuke God for His will and create their own system of faith. How angry that must make the Lord when we are mindful of our own wills instead of the will of the Father. There is only one way (John 14:6) and we should never suppose to usurp that way, that truth nor that life. Peter should have accepted the will of the Father whether he understood it or not. Our obedience must follow the pattern of Christ: "Thy will be done." (continued next week)

Kent Heaton

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