Thursday, October 20, 2011
Jesus Wasn't a Stoic
Mark 3:1-6 (ESV) Again he entered the synagogue, and a man was there with a withered hand.  And they watched Jesus, to see whether he would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse him.  And he said to the man with the withered hand, "Come here."  And he said to them, "Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to kill?" But they were silent.  And he looked around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart, and said to the man, "Stretch out your hand." He stretched it out, and his hand was restored.  The Pharisees went out and immediately held counsel with the Herodians against him, how to destroy him. He looked at them with anger. Anger isn’t a popular emotion. I’m never sure why this is. Religious people aren’t supposed to ever get angry. That is the popular opinion. I never really have cared much for popular opinion. Then I get upset when I’m not popular…. But really, who comes up with this stuff. I suspect it isn’t so much an adherence to Christianity that has defined the good Christian, but people confusing stoicism with Christianity. They are different. Emotions are embraced by Christians, as they were by Christ. That’s not to say there isn’t good reason to keep a cool head at times. But there is no reason to shun one emotion or another as being unbecoming of a Christian. They are part of life, this life God gave us. One doesn’t have to be perpetually happy to be a good Christian. And when it comes to Christian debate, sometimes it is good to get a bit angry. To show it. Jesus taunts the Pharisees. He isn’t polite about it. He is very much in their face. It was no more acceptable inhis day than it is in ours. He gets angry at their hypocrisy. He dares them, eggs them on, and then he does what they were waiting for he heals the man on the Sabbath. The pharissess immediately begin to conspire with Herod and his men for his execution. Beware, the disciple is not above the teacher. I think about that some days. Why is it I’m surprised, or upset that others won’t hear the gospel. I have no reason. I should be rejoicing they haven’t stoned me yet. I do wonder if I’d be able to rejoice after being stoned.