Wednesday, May 9, 2012

JESUS' REACTION(S) - [Book of Matthew]

Ah!  The humanity of it all, but in particular the humanity of The Word of God. In flesh He was known as Jesus.  The following references and observations are scenarios when Jesus displayed some sort of human reaction that we all can relate to.  Let me start with the Book of Matthew.  I will follow up with separate blogs/write-ups on Jesus' Reaction(s) within Mark, Luke, and John.  But for now let us turn our attention to Matthew.

Matthew
In response to Jesus' cousin's death, John the Baptist, Matthew 14:12 says Jesus "withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place."  This showed me a possible closeness that is not outright spoken of but only alluded to by Jesus' reaction here and His statement in Matthew 11:11 - "I tell you the truth:  Among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist."  Matthew 14:12 also speaks to Jesus' coping mechanism, at least for this case.

Upon returning from dealing with His cousin's passing, Jesus showed compassionMatthew 14:14 records, "When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick." 

In Matthew 15:15-16, Peter asks for an explanation to the parable that Jesus just told.  Jesus' reaction was one of disbelief in their reasoning skills"Are you still so dull?"

There is no doubt about how Jesus feels in Matthew 15:32 when it says, "Jesus called his disciples to him and said, 'I have compassion for these people;'".  You will find compassion rules a great many reactions and decisions of Jesus.

Matthew 17:17 is retold in Mark 9:19 and Luke 9:41.  The Scripture reads, "'O unbelieving and perverse generation, how long shall I stay with you?  How long shall I put up with you?  Bring the boy here to me.'"  The response was to a father who could not acquire healing for his son, even through Jesus' Disciples.  Evidently the father asked the Disciples for the healing, but according to Jesus' response the father did not have enough faith - "O unbelieving".  I definitely get a sense of impatience here - "how long shall I stay with you?  How Long shall I put up with you?" - but this human emotion did not lead to a sinful act, Jesus still healed the boy.

After blind, shouting men got the attention of Jesus in Matthew 20:29-34, the Lord asked, "'What do you want me to do for you?'  'Lord, they answered, 'we want our sight.'  Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes.  Immediately they received their sight and followed him."  There is His compassion again.  :)

In Matthew 21:12 and Luke 19:45-46 there is an upset Jesus.  "Jesus entered the temple area and drove out all who were buying and selling there.  He overturned the tables of the moneychangers and the benches of those selling doves." (Matthew 21:12)  In the Luke account  Jesus said, "'It is written, 'My house will be a house of prayer', but you have made it 'a den of robbers'.'"  The Zeal of the Lord manifest.  Now, who wants to be the first one to tell Jesus He might want to look into an Anger Management Class?  Uh, not me,  even though I see nothing sinful about turning over a bench or table and instructing the people on what they have done wrong.  Call this a Holy/Righteous Indignation reaction.

We will see this reaction again - bluntness.  In Matthew 22:29 Jesus is responding to a question by the Sadducees about marriage and the resurrection.  He hears their case and their assumption then says, "'You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God.'"  Point blank - you are wrong.  Oh and by the way, here are two reasons why you are wrong: 1) you don't know the Scriptures and (2) you don't know the power of God!  You go Jesus!

This verse struck me with a little more hmph then just strong displeasure at something.  Matthew records Jesus speaking to the Pharisees with a number of "Woe" statements, but among them is 23:15"'Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites!  You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as you are.'"  Hmmm, I guess, How To Win Friends and Influence People was not of a major concern here.  ;)  Jesus did say over in Luke 12:51-53 - "Do you think I came to bring peace on earth?  No, I tell you, but division.  From now on there will be five in one family divided against each other, three against two and two against three.  They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.'"  And this "Woe to you...son of hell" statement is definitely not a delivery of peace.  So, "Woe" is the reaction I designate here.

Jesus' reactions in Mark, Luke, and John are still to come so stay tuned.