When others disappoint us, we humans easily jump to anger. I know from personal experience, because I have spent a lot of energy being mad at people who didn't measure up to my expectations. Where do I get off?
In our world today, we have a lot of anger. One group is mad at another group, maybe because of something recent or maybe because of something that happened a long time ago. We could sit down and listen to each other. But the common choice is to dig in our heels and either shout louder or start shooting. Then the situation goes from bad to worse.
If Jesus were walking on earth today, who would he be mad at? Anyone? Let's start by thinking about who Jesus would not be mad at. (Please don't be mad at me for using 'who' instead of 'whom' or for putting the preposition at the end of the sentence.)
- I don't think Jesus would be mad at people caught in sexual sin (Luke 7:36-39, John 4:7-26).
- I don't think Jesus would be mad at political officials who are afraid to do what's right in the face of public pressure (John 18:28-40).
- I don't think Jesus would be mad at rich people just because they are rich (Mark 10:17-27).
- I don't think Jesus would be mad at his followers who make mistakes (John 21).
I'm not saying that Jesus would condone any bad behavior. But I don't think he would be mad at these types of people. I think he would look at them and treat them with compassion.
So who would Jesus be mad at?
- I think Jesus would be mad at those who abuse or neglect children (Matthew 18:1-6, 19:13-15).
- I think Jesus would be mad at those who are upset when others get a break (Mark 3:1-6).
- I think Jesus would be mad at those who manipulate and prey on others for personal gain (John 2:13-17).
- I think Jesus would be mad at those who toot their own religious horn, make up burdensome religious rules for their followers, and try to cover up their own failings (Matthew 23).
Since I can't see things from the perspective of Jesus, I'm making educated guesses here based on what we see in the gospels. What would you add to these lists?