There’s been much grief and anger raging in America these days. Jesus understands anger and grief and He experienced them Himself. He’s had to control His own anger as well as die at the hands of others’ anger and evil. Many of us are so angry, even in the church, that we’ve allowed anger to overtake us and influence our beliefs and distract us from our roles as a people who are called to help heal others. Should we not act as a balm to our nation?
How did Jesus act when He was angry? Sure, we all know how He turned over tables and whipped people a time or two as He operated in righteous indignation. But does that mean we just go out and whip folks with our belts? No. In Mark 3:1-6, Jesus was angry. So lets see what He did in the midst of this emotion and being plotted against:
“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.”
He was so angry that He gave everyone “that look” like they could catch a beat down in that moment, yet instead He chose to respond to the faith of that man with the withered hand. Jesus chose to heal him in spite of His own anger towards the Pharisees. The Pharisees were so hardened in their hearts against Jesus that they left the synagogue and conspired with pagans to plot against Him and His destruction.
What’s interesting in those verses we just read in Mark, is how we can look at these verses and see the passions and anger of both parties, yet the different paths taken after experiencing their emotions. From Christ we saw the fruit of the Spirit and acts of faith that glorified our Heavenly Father. Though He felt a strong emotion of anger, He chose to reveal the Father’s glory. The Pharisees were hard-hearted and plotted to eventually manifest their evil through murder. They manifested many of the works of the flesh as in Galatians 5:19-21.
Racial tensions seem to either expose the worst in us or press out the best in us. In Mark 3, even though Jesus was being plotted against, He was focused on helping the next man. When our goal is to heal others, there’s a certain mentality and humility that will play out in our actions to meet righteous goals.
Let’s quickly take a mindful glance at James 1:19-21
Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.
May we become more quick to hear God’s wisdom. As the body of Christ, we are called to receive God’s word and produce the righteousness of God for it’s through His righteousness we are truly saved. Ask yourself where your own anger has led you. Where is it leading you today? Does it distract you from the Father’s biblical instruction or do you turn your anger into conviction to do right in Him?
Feel free to comment below how you respond when angry.