Angry Jesus, Angry People ~ BitterSweetLife

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Angry Jesus, Angry People

I've been thinking about anger some recently. Not because I am at all prone to it or know what it feels like. When I see angry people, I just look at them, and think, I cannot relate at all to what you are experiencing right now. Anger. I've heard that it happens to some people.

More seriously, I've realized that anger is a strand in Jesus' personality and it was on display sometimes as he walked the Galilean earth. With Jesus, it was not a mistake. Anger is his response to injustice, to evil.

Jesus surprises us, though. He's angry when we're indifferent and calm when we're irate. Our anger is typically retaliatory, childish, and ugly. Christ's anger is swift, clean, and driven by mercy. Our anger spurts up when we are hurt or thwarted. Jesus' fury turns the tables on the arrogant and brings renewal to the oppressed.

Jesus didn't conceal his anger, either--he had no need to, because the purpose of his rage necessitated its outer effects. That is, Christ's anger was not meant to be hidden. It was a sign of his fierce displeasure, a signal that he was about to attack the evil disorder of a world that mixes sin and stupor. God's wrath is this way: it burns white hot and pure and it accomplishes a purpose.

Not so with us. Our fury is a mongrel dog, corrupted by pride and selfishness, a vicious half-breed that we dress up with a leash and sweater before giving it the run of the house.

Jesus flamed up when the weak were exploited and when his Father's name was dragged through the mud. We get angry when our drive home gets exploited by rush hour or when someone drags our name through the mud.

Jesus got angry when children were pushed away from God and when stale ceremony took precedence over healing and when worship became a lucrative racket...

Jesus, make our anger more like yours.



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2 comments:

Will Robison said...

Our fury is a mongrel dog, corrupted by pride and selfishness, a vicious half-breed that we dress up with a leash and sweater before giving it the run of the house.

That sentence is going to be giving me nightmares its so good. This is why I keep coming back here. Great post... even better sentence!

Thanks for giving me things to contemplate.

Wayne Stratz said...

great post.

It was timely because my anger had caused a couple poor interactions at work. I had already turned to God during my examen to bring joy back to my classroom. My students and I had much more fun the next two days with some open conversations about the previous days.

 

Culture. Photos. Life's nagging questions. - BitterSweetLife