Angry Like Jesus

It’s crazy how easily offended we can be. Why are we always seemingly dealing with an offense? Not just in our families, but in workplaces and schools. In our churches, it happens there too. Even though you would expect a higher standard to be understood and lived out in accountability.

We get hurt, easily angered and at times to the point of division and separation. We do this thinking it is the only way, certain there is no peace to be had, except by moving on.

We are by nature passionate people, given to equally strong feelings and even stronger opinions. In fact, people who know us, are rarely confused about what we love and hate, what truly matters and doesn’t. Maybe that is because Christians are often known for what they are against, not what they are for. I believe many choose their leaders that way, because they already live their lives that way.  

Certainly, many of the issues we can fight for are significant. But let’s be honest: Some of the things that we truly get irritated about, or just downright mad about, have nothing to do with Scriptural truth and is far more about personal preferences.

Ever stop being angry long enough to wonder and ask the question; What made Jesus angry? As followers of Jesus, it would seem obvious that what upset Jesus ought to truly upset us. If it mattered to Him, it should matter to us. Conversely, if it didn’t seem to matter to Jesus, then it shouldn’t matter to us, either.

Try as you might, you won’t find any passage in which Jesus got mad at sinners for doing something sinful. You won’t even find Jesus railing about Rome or the emperor. He simply reminded his followers that His Kingdom was not of this world. You will, however, find him very angry with the so-called righteous. Those that saw themselves as being more spiritual than they actually were. That’s what really upset Jesus. It upset him a lot, here are some key instances that can teach us.

So, what did Jesus get angry about?

  1. Hardness of Heart (Mark 3:1–5)
  2. Selfish Ambition (Mark 8:31–38)
  3. Spiritual Arrogance (Luke 9:51–55)
  4. Self-Centeredness (Matthew 23:10–12)
  5. Hypocrisy and Fake Religiosity (Luke 11:37–54)
  6. Excluding People from the Love of God (Luke 6:27)
  7. Excluding People from God’s Forgiveness (Matthew 18:35)
  8. Unfruitfulness (Matthew 7:17)
  9. Damaging Children (Luke 17:2)
  10. Misusing His Church (Mark 11:17)

It is time to really own it: The stuff that often gets us mad, didn’t matter at all to Jesus. Have your opinions. Be passionate. Express yourself. Get your #hashtag on. But please stop being an angry Christian, unless it’s something that really made Jesus angry too.

Lorenzo DellaForesta

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