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

In both the authorized and revised versions of the healing of the two blind men in the ninth chapter of Matthew’s gospel, the same phrases are used in the translation of the word in question as in the story of the leper in Mark’s gospel: “straitly,” “strictly,” “sternly charged them.” I read the passage thus: “And Jesus was displeased” --or perhaps, “much displeased”—“with them, saying, See that no man know it. But they went forth, and spread abroad his fame in all that land.” Surely here we have light on the cause of Jesus’ displeasure with the blind men! Like the leper, they showed themselves bent on their own way, and did not care of his. Doubtless they were, in part, moved by the desire to spread abroad his fame; that may even have seemed the best acknowledgment they could render their deliverer. They never suspected that a great man might desire to avoid fame, knowing it for a foolish thing. “What is a prophet without honor?” such ask, nor understand the answer, “A man the more likely to prove a prophet.” By them he should have his right—but as they, not he, judged fit! They were too grateful not to trumpet his praises, not grateful enough to obey him. How many are there not who seem capable of anything for the sake of the church, except the one thing its Lord cares about—that they should do what he tells them! He would deliver them from themselves into the liberty of the sons of God, and make them his brothers; they leave him to vaunt their church. His commandments are not grievous; they invent commandments for him, and lay them, burdens grievous to be borne, upon the necks of their brethren.