If I were to ask, “Can you tell me of a time when Jesus got angry?” I would suspect that most people could give me an instance or two. At the top of the list would probably be the “cleansing of the temple” (Matthew 21:12-13). Others may remember his scathing rebuke of the Scribes and Pharisees for their hypocrisy (Matthew 23:23ff). However, how many of us may not remember or even know that Jesus was angry at the follow events?
- Jesus was angry when the children were prevented from coming to him by his apostles (Matthew 19:14). Wait, Jesus was angry on that occasion? Yes, he was. While Matthew records Jesus as saying, “Let the little children come to me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of Heaven,” Mark gives more detail. Mark prefaced his statement with this, “But when Jesus saw it, he was greatly displeased [indignant ESV & NASB]…” (Mark 10:14). In other words, Jesus got angry when people attempted to hinder children from coming to him.
- Jesus was also angry at the death of Lazarus. The text says that Jesus “groaned in the spirit” (John 11:33). The Greek word translated “groaned” is “embrimaomai” which literally means to “snort with anger.” (Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon). Jesus wasn’t just sad (John 11:35), he was also angry at what death had done.
Well, did either of these two events come to your mind as times when Jesus got angry? While they may not be frequently thought of, I for one, am certainly glad that God chose to inform us that these events actually made Jesus angry.
You see, you can learn much about a man by taking note of the things in which he delights and in the things that anger him.
Knowing that hindering children from coming to Jesus and know that death and its consequences angers Jesus makes me love and respect him all the more. I love knowing the things that Jesus loves and I love knowing the things that made Jesus angry.
Now, the challenge before us is to learn to love and to be angered by the same things.