Another time Jesus went into the synagogue, and a man with a shriveled hand was there. Some of them were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, so they watched him closely to see if he would heal him on the Sabbath. Jesus said to the man with the shriveled hand, “Stand up in front of everyone.” Then Jesus asked them, “Which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?” But they remained silent.He looked around at them in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts, said to the man, “Stretch out your hand. ”He stretched it out, and his hand was completely restored. (Mark 3:1-5)
Because Jesus came to earth in human form, He experienced all of the emotions and feelings associated with being human, including anger. The difference, though, between Jesus and the rest of humanity is that Jesus did not sin out of His anger. Rather, His anger was justified because of the reason for His anger.
In Mark’s account of Jesus’ ministry, he tells the story of Jesus choosing to heal a man with a shriveled hand on the Sabbath. In this scene, the Pharisees were looking to catch Jesus doing something wrong, which would break the Sabbath. Sadly, they were more intent on following the rules than meeting the needs in someone’s life. They were insensitive to the pain of other people, and this angered Jesus. He was angry because He saw the lack of compassion in their hearts.
In this moment, Jesus modeled the proper use of anger. While we tend to believe that anger is synonymous with sin, this is simply not true. You can feel anger and not act on that anger in a sinful way. Jesus proved that to us. Even though Jesus was angry at the Pharisees, He didn’t lash out at them. He didn’t slander or attack them. He merely turned His attention to the person who needed help, healing, and compassion.
Certainly, the world would be a better place if we handled anger the way Jesus did. When you feel anger toward someone who is insensitive to the pain of others or who is mistreating others, shift your focus to the people in need; and love them the way Jesus loved the man in Mark Chapter 3.