Jesus’ Grief

Inspiration MinistriesBy Inspiration Ministries2 Minutes

Entering a synagogue, Jesus saw a man “whose hand was withered” (v. 1). While Jesus focused on the man, Pharisees nearby focused on Jesus, hoping to find something to accuse Him of, watching to see if He would heal the man on the Sabbath.

While speaking to the paralyzed man, Jesus knew the thoughts of these observers. He asked them, “Is it lawful to do good or to do harm on the Sabbath, to save a life or to kill?” (v. 4) But they remained silent.

Jesus reacted in two ways. First, He was angry. These religious leaders were the representatives of His Father, but they had twisted His Word into their own interpretations. Jesus also was “grieved.” The Greek word is used here for the only time in the Bible. He was “deeply distressed” (NIV) and “saddened” (NLT), particularly by their “hardness of heart.” Their viewpoints were locked and their minds were closed.

In spite of their attitudes, Jesus healed the man, providing the Pharisees with the evidence they needed. They immediately left, plotting “how they might destroy Him” (v. 6).

We can understand why Jesus would be angry. But perhaps it’s His grief that speaks most to us—how their hardness grieved Him. In spite of their religious background, the Pharisees were not submitted to God or sensitive to His leading.

We can imagine how Jesus often might have the same reaction toward some people in our time, feeling anger toward those who defy the Father’s commands…who resist the work of His Kingdom…who fight against the Gospel and hinder God’s power from working to save lives, heal sick bodies, and bring deliverance and salvation.

But we also sense grief, as when Jesus wept over the city of Jerusalem (Luke 19:41). How He wants all to respond! He wants to meet every need and let everyone experience the fullness of God’s blessings. He longs to show people the truth and the riches of His Kingdom.