I spent the evening watching a movie called the Gospel of John on Netflix. The movie is narrated while actors act out the scenes of the entire Gospel of John. As I watched, I was taken by the humanness of Jesus. He spoke out explosively at times. He was very animated. This could have been just the actor’s interpretation, but as I followed along in my Bible, I found the words in the scriptures indicated strong action. I have always had the idea of Jesus speaking the soft words of wisdom without emotion, yet as I followed this movie, I was reminded that Jesus was fully human. He was a man with passion and zeal.
With this in mind I looked back through the Gospel of John. Jesus’ encounters with the Jewish leaders offered many opportunities for emotional response, but this familiar story stood out. In chapter 2, Jesus clears the temple using a whip. Verse 16 reads: To those who sold doves he said, “Get these out of here!” “How dare you turn my Father’s house into a market!” Notice that the last sentence ends with an exclamation mark not a question mark. This was a strong exclamation. He wasn’t gently asking a question.
Jesus came as a human so we could relate to him. He was a human just like us who could express his emotions but without sin. My strong expressions can often be traced back to the sin of “I want it my way!” or some other control issue. I believe that, if I had the deep selfless love of Jesus, I could express my strong emotions without sin. But alas, that’s not the case. Even though Jesus spoke out with emotion, it doesn’t give me license to go around yelling at people. Shucks, I was hoping for justification. So, self-control is still necessary. Praise be to God for his grace.