Adele Hebert is "driven to study the word". Asked to describe herself, she recalls the honor of being recognized as an Independent Scholar by author Leonard Swidler for whom she worked as an editor and contributor for the book Jesus Was A Feminist (which includes one of her articles). She has also edited other Christian books and newsletters, including CBE International newsletters and she typed the GWTW book and many of Katharine Bushnell's articles which are centerpieces of the GWTW site. Delighted to have her article included on the GWTW website, Adele is confident that this message will bless many women.
”JESUS WAS ANGRY’
by Adele Hebert
Is it right for you to be angry?” God
asked Jonah (4:4). Is it right for a Christian to be angry? Anger, if
not controlled, is a very dangerous emotion and can lead to murder.
The first person to be angry in the Old
Testament is found in Genesis 4:5, “Cain was very angry and downcast.”
God had accepted his brother’s sacrifice but not his. What did he
do with his anger? “Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed
The first person to be angry in the New
Testament (Mt 2:17), “Herod was furious on realizing that he had been
fooled by the wise men.” What did he do with his anger? “In Bethlehem
and its surrounding district he had all the male children killed who
were two years old or less.”
Although we were told to love one another
and to forgive our enemies, Jesus was often quite angry. Jesus got very
frustrated with His disciples. Matthew 17:17 reads, “Faithless and
perverse generation! How much longer must I be with you? How much longer
must I put up with you?” Jesus had righteous indignation at the sellers
in the temple. John 2:15, 16: “Making a whip out of cord, he drove
them all out of the Temple, sheep and cattle as well, scattered the
money changers’ coins, knocked their tables over and said to the dove
sellers, ‘Take all this out of here and stop using my Father’s house
as a market.” Mostly, Jesus was angry at the Pharisees. Mark 3:1:
“Then he looked angrily round at them, grieved to find them so obstinate,
and said to the man, ‘Stretch out your hand.’”
Amazingly, Jesus never got angry with
the women. Jesus corrected five women. They were definitely not rebuked
as some commentators/preachers have alleged. Jesus only rebuked the
wind, sea, demons, unclean spirits, fever and men.
Jesus was more severe with his male disciples
than anyone else. He rebuked Peter, calling him Satan. Matthew 16:23.
He rebuked James and John for wanting to call down fire from heaven
to burn up the Samaritan village. Luke 9:55. And He rebuked the eleven
male disciples for not believing the women’s testimony. Mark 16:14.
However, Jesus never rebuked women.
Let us examine the verses pertaining
to women. Notice how Jesus leads them ever so gently, no names, and
no harsh critical words. In fact, Jesus always uplifts them, guarding
their honor, hearing them, blessing them.
Luke 2:48, 49, “They were overcome
when they saw him, and his mother said to him, ‘My child, why have
you done this to us? See how worried your father and I have been, looking
for you.’ He replied, ‘Why were you looking for me? Did you not
know that I must be in my Father’s house?’”
Luke 11:27, 28, “It happened that as
he was speaking, a woman in the crowd raised her voice and said, ‘Blessed
the womb that bore you and the breasts that fed you!’ But he replied,
‘More blessed still are those who hear the word of God and keep it!’”
John 2:3-5, “And they ran out of wine,
since the wine provided for the feast had all been used, and the mother
of Jesus said to him, ‘They have no wine.’ Jesus said, ‘Woman,
what do you want from me? My hour has not come yet.’ His mother said
to the servants, ‘Do whatever he tells you… tasted the water, and
it had turned into wine.’”
Luke 10:41, 42, “But the Lord answered,
‘Martha, Martha,’ he said, ‘you worry and fret about so many things,
and yet few are needed, indeed only one. It is Mary who has chosen the
better part, and it is not to be taken from her.’”
Matthew 15:24-28, “He said in reply,
‘I was sent only to the lost sheep of the House of Israel.’ But
the woman had come up and was bowing low before him. ‘Lord,’ she
said, ‘help me.’ He replied, ‘It is not fair to take the children’s
food and throw it to little dogs.’ She retorted, ‘Ah yes, Lord;
but even little dogs eat the scraps that fall from their masters’
table.’ Then Jesus answered her, ‘Woman, you have great faith. Let
your desire be granted.’ And from that moment her daughter was well
Also, Mark 11:27-29, “And he said to
her, ‘The children should be fed first, because it is not fair to
take the children’s food and throw it to little dogs.’ But she spoke
up, ‘Ah yes, sir,’ she replied, ‘but little dogs under the table
eat the scraps from the children.’ And he said to her, ‘For saying
this you may go home happy; the devil has gone out of your daughter.’”
Luke 11:39, “Jesus said, ‘Take the
stone away.’ Martha, the dead man’s sister, said to him, ‘Lord,
by now he will smell; this is the fourth day since he died.’ Jesus
replied, ‘Have I not told you that if you believe you will see the
glory of God?’”
John 20:17, “Jesus said to her, ‘Do
not cling to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But
go to the brothers, and tell them: I am ascending to my Father and your
Father, to my God and your God.’”
No matter how often and to what degree
Jesus was angry, he never sinned; he was always in complete control.
Anger only becomes a problem when it is not controlled, when is it not
directed at the right cause, and when it is not appropriate. Jesus was
angry as an expression of His zealous, holy devotion to God. His righteous
anger had nothing to do with Himself. It was always on account
of other’s sinfulness or their lack of faith, both of which affected
those around them and those wanting to get into the kingdom of God.
His reaction was also directed only at those with whom He was angry.
He never took it out on anyone else, and His actions were also appropriate
to the cause. Most importantly, Jesus’ anger was exclusively motivated
by love, even to forgiving those who crucified Him until His dying breath.
Jesus made it very clear we were not
to judge others, not even to call someone a fool because names are destructive,
demeaning, and abusive. Matthew 5:22. A little further on in the scriptures,
Jesus explains why. Mt. 7:3 reads, “Hypocrite! Take the log out of
your own eye first, and then you will see clearly enough to take the
splinter out of your brother’s eye.” Jesus was able to expose
the Pharisees, calling them “Fools and blind!” because He was perfect.
Matthew 23:17. As long as you are without sin, you may cast stones.
Now, we will consider all the verses where Jesus is angry.
Clearly, Jesus was not afraid and even
justified in calling the religious leaders names. He continuously
exposed their wicked traditions, their motives, and their sins. No one
knows what Jesus wrote on the ground in Jn 8:6, but all those men left
from the oldest to the youngest; and since He knew their hearts, He
revealed enough to make them all leave.
Jesus got very angry with the religious
leaders because they were keeping the people from the truth of God,
Mt. 23:13, 14. The Pharisees were always trying to trap Jesus, but He,
in turn, exposed their evil, “these are the men who take advantage
of widows and rob them of their homes,” Mk. 12:40. Two verses later
Jesus points to “the widow with two little copper coins, worth about
a penny.” He was not praising her, he was admonishing the men. Because
the Pharisees were the only ones who could study the law and teach it,
the people were at their mercy for instruction, plus the rulers made
many extra laws which the people could not keep. The ones who would
have been affected the most were the women since they could not study
the scriptures themselves, and they had no rights and no voice. That
reason is why Jesus made sure Mary of Bethany stayed at His feet.
The most significant finding in this
study was that Jesus was never angry with the women. They were not his
enemies; they followed Him. They supported him financially and had great
faith. They listened and worshipped Him in truth. They loved Jesus.
The most important message Jesus was
telling us: Righteous anger is good because it motivates us to do what
is right. Personal anger is bad because it motivates us to do what is
James 1:19, 20 says, “Remember this:
everyone should be quick to listen but slow to speak and slow to anger;
human anger does not achieve God’s righteous purpose.”Ephesians 4:26, 27 says, “Even if you
are angry, do not sin: never let the sun set on your anger or else you
will give the devil a foothold.”
Adele Hebert- firstname.lastname@example.org