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HomeSpiritual GrowthWas Jesus Always Opposed to Anger and Judgement?

Was Jesus Always Opposed to Anger and Judgement?

Christ expressed a range of righteous emotions.

So many carnal and deconstructing Christians equate the Jesus of the New Testament as limited to only one emotion in His earthly ministry. They try to separate the angry and vengeful God of the Old Testament from the loving Jesus of the New. But, this is neither fair nor accurate. Further, they collapse the whole of Biblical systematic theology into half of a single verse of Scripture, which, in fairness, happens to be called out by God as the most important command in the Bible. This was Jesus’ response to the question, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”

Luke 10:27 – “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.”

Many think that one can never fellowship with other believers, never go to church, never read a Bible, never pray, never evangelize the lost, but… when asked if they are a Christian, they answer without hesitation, “Yes”. Perhaps they prayed a prayer in Sunday School at 8 years old. Or perhaps they heard from friends that all Jesus has asked us to do is to be a good person and love our neighbor and we will go to Heaven. 

Jesus did call His disciples to love their neighbor, as He calls us to do the same today. However, there are 186k words in the New Testament alone which suggests that perhaps there is more to Jesus, and entrance into Heaven, than just loving others.

Did Jesus Ever Get Angry?

Jesus lived a perfect life and, as such, was able to die on the cross as a payment for our sins. So, if He did get angry, then there are times when anger should not be considered a sin. 

The most popular example of anger from our risen Lord was when Jesus entered the temple and, after seeing all the merchants conducting business in the outer court, He responded in anger. And, this was not an isolated instance. 

In John 2:12-17, early in His ministry, Jesus made a whip and drove the money changers and animals from the temple courts. And then toward the end of His ministry, in Matthew 21:12, Jesus again turned over tables and sent merchants running (also documented in Mark 11:15-18 and Luke 21). 

In Mark 10:3-16, Jesus was “indignant” at his disciples because they were blocking children from coming to Him. 

A final example of Jesus getting angry was with the Pharisees who suggested providing healing to a withered hand was not lawful on the Sabbath (Mark 3:4).

Paul, writing to the church in Ephesus (Eph. 4:26), offered further evidence that anger is not always a sin by stating “In your anger do not sin.” And in James 1:19-20, the author cautions Christians to be slow to anger, rather than saying, don’t get angry. 

There is a place for “righteous indignation” as a Biblical Christian. However, most of us get angry over actions or comments that hurt us personally rather than over righteousness. Further, the weight of Scripture is clear that love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Gal. 5:22-23) should be our primary attitude toward others, regardless of their actions.

1 Cor. 13:4-7 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Did Jesus Ever Talk About Judgement for the Lost?

Jesus, and the New Testament overall, is often characterized as a book of love from beginning to end. However, as with the emotion of anger, a careful reading of the Bible brings out not only a desire “that all be saved” (1 Tim. 2:4), but also the reality that many will be judged based on their own behavior, rather than the saving grace from Christ. 

Jesus stated the often-quoted verse of John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” However, Jesus also made it clear that those who do not believe in Him will be judged based on their own actions.  John 12:48 “The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day.”

Matthew 25:46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

Regardless of our human opinions of what fairness should look like, Jesus and the New Testament present a choice, to accept Christ as our Savior and Lord or reject Him and rely on our own behavior for our eternal state. If one believes the Bible as a statement of God’s righteous judgment, “all have sinned and fallen short of the kingdom of God” (Rom. 3:23), then we are left with His judgment without Christ.

Hebrews 10:31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. 


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AuthorJeff Hilles | BCWorldview.org 

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