I was reading the story of Lazarus the other day, and the translation I was using pointed out that in this story Jesus got angry.
Lazarus is a dear friend of Jesus. Jesus receives news that his friend is terribly sick. The family is asking for Jesus to come and heal Lazarus. Strangely enough, Jesus stays where he was for two more days.
Jesus knows Lazarus is dead.
When Jesus finally arrives, Lazarus’s sister, Mary, greets him. Actually, she accuses him.
32 When Mary arrived where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother wouldn’t have died.” 33 When Jesus saw her crying and the Jews who had come with her crying also, he was deeply disturbed and troubled. (John 11, CEB)
Another translation says this:
33 When Jesus saw her weeping and saw the other people wailing with her, a deep anger welled up within him, and he was deeply troubled. (John 11, NLT)
Do you see the difference? Here it says that Jesus was angry. Why would Jesus be angry?
There are a lot of emotions. Jesus even cries.
36 The Jews said, “See how much he loved him!”
People often struggled to understand what Jesus was doing. It was not uncommon for Jesus to explain later what was going on. So I think it is safe to say there was more going on here than the people’s initial response.
Jesus was all about bringing God’s Kingdom to earth. He did this in his preaching and miracles. When I think of Jesus getting angry and upset, I’m left thinking that death is so counter to God’s Kingdom. Jesus came to defeat death. Death does not have the last say. Death is not the end.
9 God is the one who saved and called us with a holy calling. This wasn’t based on what we have done, but it was based on his own purpose and grace that he gave us in Christ Jesus before time began. 10 Now his grace is revealed through the appearance of our savior, Christ Jesus. He destroyed death and brought life and immortality into clear focus through the good news. (2 Timothy 1, CEB)
Blessings, Pastor Matt