Let’s think about this question: When do you see Jesus angry or indignant in the 4 gospel accounts? What we find is a consistent pattern – Jesus was angry when others were being hurt. This is not to say that Jesus never got angry about anything else, but the consistent message from the 4 gospels is Jesus really got upset when others were being oppressed. As Adrian Rogers put it something like this, Jesus was angry when he saw “hard hearts in the face of human hurts.”
God is the defender and father of the helpless and oppressed.
Psalms 68:5-6 Father of the fatherless and protector of widows is God in his holy habitation. God settles the solitary in a home; he leads out the prisoners to prosperity, but the rebellious dwell in a parched land.
Jesus was angry and sad at their hard hearts in the face of human hurts.
Mark 3:1-6 Again he entered the synagogue, and a man was there with a withered hand. And they watched Jesus, to see whether he would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse him. And he said to the man with the withered hand, “Come here.” And he said to them, “Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to kill?” But they were silent. And he looked around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart, and said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was restored. The Pharisees went out and immediately held counsel with the Herodians against him, how to destroy him.
Jesus was “greatly displeased” when His disciples tried to run off the little children.
Mark 10:13-16 Then they brought little children to Him, that He might touch them; but the disciples rebuked those who brought them. But when Jesus saw it, He was greatly displeased and said to them, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God. Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.” And He took them up in His arms, laid His hands on them, and blessed them.
Jesus was angry at those who “devoured widows’ houses” for their own financial gain.
Mark 12:40 who devour widows’ houses and for a pretense make long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.”
Jesus was angry when the religious leaders became thieves by turning God’s house of worship into a place to take advantage of the poor.
Matthew 21:12-13 And Jesus entered the temple and drove out all who sold and bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you make it a den of robbers.”
Jesus was angry when those religious leaders were hypocrites and laid heavy burdens on people, but wouldn’t lift a finger to move those burdens themselves.
Matthew 23:4 They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to move them with their finger.
Let’s meditate on this for today and consider a couple of follow up questions:
Am I angry about the things God is angry about? Or am I angry about personal infractions towards me?
If I am angry about the same things God is angry about, am I dealing with my anger in a way that pleases my God?