The Displeasure of Jesus

When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled.

— John 11:33

 

We shall take first the passage, Mark 1:43—in the authorized version, “And he straitly charged him;” in the revised, “And he strictly charged him,” with sternly in the margin. Literally, as it seems to me, it ought to be read, “And being angry,” or “displeased,” or “vexed” “with him, he immediately dismissed him.” There is even some dissatisfaction implied, I think, in the word I have translated “dismissed.” The word in John 9:34, “they cast him out,” is the same, only a little intensified. This adds something to the story, and raises the question, Why should Jesus have been angry? If we can find no reason for this anger, we must leave the thing as altogether obscure; for I do not know where to find another meaning for the word, except in the despair of a would-be interpreter. Jesus had cured the leper—not with his word only, which would have been enough for the mere cure, but was not enough without the touch of his hand to satisfy the heart of Jesus—a touch defiling him, in the notion of the Jews, but how cleansing to the sense of the leper! The man, however, seems to have been unworthy of this delicacy of divine tenderness. The Lord, who could read his heart, saw that he made him no true response—that there was not awaked in him the faith he desired to rouse: he had not drawn the soul of the man to his. The leper was jubilant in the removal of his pain and isolating uncleanness, in his deliverance from suffering and scorn; he was probably elated with the pride of having had a miracle wrought for him. In a word, he was so full of himself that he did not think truly of his deliverer.