One of the key tenets of the Christian faith is that we believe that Jesus was both divine and human: fully God, fully man. Sometimes, though, I know I am guilty of focusing on Jesus’ divinity and neglecting his humanity.
We don’t always reflect on just how human Jesus was: that he felt every emotion known to the human race, yet did not sin.
Sure, we know Jesus was happy and sad, but Jesus also experienced anger.
Often, when we do think of Jesus getting angry, we think of how he turned over the tables of the money-changers in the temple (John 2). But Jesus also got profoundly angry at the Pharisees and teachers of religious law, the “establishment” in the Jewish world of his day. Much of Matthew 23 is dedicated to Jesus’ verbal tirade against these highly-respected religious leaders.
Many people are taught that it’s wrong to get angry – maybe even unchristian. Yet Jesus got angry…for the right reasons, for righteous reasons. So did the prophets. So did the Psalmists. So does the Father!
It’s not unbiblical to be angry before God. Everything we do is before God anyway! And because Jesus expressed anger, we can, too.
Our challenge is to be able to do so without sinning. That’s the hard part, isn’t it?
When we are angry for righteous reasons, perhaps we are less inclined to sin in our anger, directing that energy instead toward upholding the glory of God.
So don’t hold back your emotions before the Lord. Be honest, be real – but don’t let your emotions get the best of you. He knows how you feel anyway. Because Jesus experienced every human emotion, you can be sure God really knows how you feel.
“’[D]on’t sin by letting anger control you.’ Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 for anger gives a foothold to the devil” (Ephesians 4.26-27, NLT).