Jesus Was Angry
Jesus Was Angry
A few years ago I read 'The Jesus I Never Knew' by Philip Yancey. It was an interesting read because the author, having been raised on teaching that emphasized 'God is Love' to the (almost) exclusion of the Holiness of God and His wrath against sin, read through the stories of Jesus and discovered this 'other side' of God.
Having dealt with the religious leaders concerning their Sabbath 'rules', Jesus confronts them again in the synagogue. He asked them what seems like a straightforward question: “Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to kill?” Their response? “They were silent”!
Their silence spoke volumes however. As Jesus waits and looks, Mark states that he “looked around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart”. This was not the anger of man but the judicial anger of God against sin. This sin was not one of the 'biggies' (as men often measure sin) but was religious hypocrisy.
In contrast to the misunderstood “judge not” philosophy of our day, Jesus stood in judgment upon their sin. Reading the stories of Jesus will find him consistently bringing denunciation to religious error. He constantly was at odds with the religious teaching of His day.
God is shown in Jesus (if you have seen me, you have seen the Father). Paul wrote that “the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth” (Rom. 1:18). God's wrath is not arbitrary and fickle. God's wrath is steady, consistent, and against sin.
Jesus also showed that God is grieved with the hypocrisy of men in religion. It is the pure in heart that will see God. It is interesting to watch Jesus deal with sinners. To those who come with godly sorrow seeking mercy and forgiveness, He is merciful and forgiving. To those who persisted in ungodliness, He was 'judgmental'. In Jesus we behold the 'goodness and severity of God' (Romans 11:22). In Him we see both the wrath and the kindness of God. Yes, “God so loved the world that He gave His only son”, but “whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him” (John 3:16, 36).
This aspect of God's character is held in perfect balance by Him. Jesus was here not only shows God's wrath against sin, but God's love and mercy. God is grieved at our sin and, because of His love for men, He sent Jesus to save us from such sin. That means that He saves us from the wrath of God (Romans 5:9; 1Thess. 1:10). God provided for us a way of forgiveness and reconciliation. God provided for us the way of escape from His judicial wrath. For those who persist in their own ways, there will be the awful day of judgment. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God (Heb. 10:31). Someday you'll stand at the bar on high, what will your answer be?”