I’ll admit it. I was going to title today’s blog, “Sometimes this pastor gets ticked off”. But (with one ‘t’) I thought more people would read it with the chosen title. So here you are.
A few of us are reading through the New Testament this year. Today’s reading is Mark Chapter 3. In it, Jesus is at the synagogue looking around at people there (here it’s not just religious leaders) and the Scripture says this, “He (Jesus) looked around at them (the people in the church of their day) in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts.” The Good News version puts it this way: “Jesus was angry, but at the same time felt sorry for them because they were so stubborn and wrong.”
When we talk about Jesus getting angry, we always, always, always go to the story of turning over the money changers’ tables in the temple. Well, that’s not the only time Jesus gets mad. Jesus was pretty ticked off here as well. When the Today’s English Version and the New King James use the same word, you can take it to the bank. Jesus was angry. He was clearly upset here. Yet, when He was angry He didn’t do things out of spite, even if He did do things to make others angry (as He did here).
Some people paint Jesus with a single brushstroke. They act like the only way to be like Jesus is to be all loving and to be cuddling people all the time. Jesus wasn’t/isn’t always loving and cuddly. Sometimes cuddling won’t work for an individual or group. Sometimes people need a holy butt kicking.
People always need to hear the truth. Sometimes that will tick them off. And sometimes people will walk away from the truth. If they had heard something other than the truth and stayed, it wouldn’t have helped them anyway.