The Emotional Life of our Lord
by B.B. Warfield
It belongs to the truth of our Lord’s humanity, that he was subject to all sinless human emotions.l In the accounts which the Evangelists give us of the crowded activities which filled the few years of his ministry, the play of a great variety of emotions is depicted. It has nevertheless not proved easy to form a universally acceptable conception of our Lord’s emotional life. Not only has the mystery of the Incarnation entered in as a disturbing factor, the effect of the divine nature on the movements of the human soul brought into personal union with it has been variously estimated. Differences have arisen also as to how far there may be attributed to a perfect human nature movements known to us only as passions of sinful beings.
Two opposite tendencies early showed themselves in the Church. One, derived ultimately from the ethical ideal of the Stoa, which conceived moral perfection under the form of apatheia, naturally wished to attribute this ideal dira0eaa to Jesus, as the perfect man. The other, under the influence of the conviction that, in order to deliver men from their weaknesses, the Redeemer must assume and sanctify in his own person all human patha, as naturally was eager to attribute to him in its fulness every human pathos. Though in far less clearly defined forms, and with a complete shifting of their bases, both tendencies are still operative in men’s thought of Jesus. There is a tendency in the interest of the dignity of his person to minimize, and there is a tendency in the interest of the completeness of his humanity to magnify, his affectional movements. The one tendency may run some risk of giving us a somewhat cold and remote Jesus, whom we can scarcely believe to be able to sympathize with us in all our infirmities. The other may possibly be in danger of offering us a Jesus so crassly human as scarcely to command our highest reverence. Between the two, the figure of Jesus is liable to take on a certain vagueness of outline, and come to lack definiteness in our thought. It may not be without its uses, therefore, to seek a starting point for our conception of his emotional life in the comparatively few2 affectional movements which are directly assigned to him in the Gospel narratives. Proceeding outward from these, we may be able to form a more distinctly conceived and firmly grounded idea of his emotional life in general.
It cannot be assumed beforehand, indeed, that all the emotions attributed to Jesus in the Evangelical narratives are intended to be ascribed distinctively to his human soul.3 Such is no doubt the common view. And it is not an unnatural view to take as we currently read narratives, which, whatever else they contain, certainly present some dramatization of the human experiences of our Lord.4 No doubt the naturalness of this view is its sufficient general justification. Only, it will be well to bear in mind that Jesus was definitely conceived by the Evangelists as a two-natured person, and that they made no difficulties with his duplex consciousness. In almost the same breath they represent him as declaring that he knows the Father through and through and, of course, also all that is in man, and the world which is the theatre of his activities, and that he is ignorant of the time of the occurrence of a simple earthly event which concerns his own work very closely; that he is meek and lowly in heart and yet at the same time the Lord of men by their relations to whom their destinies are determined, — “no man cometh unto the Father but by me.” In the case of a Being whose subjective life is depicted as focusing in two centers of consciousness, we may properly maintain some reserve in ascribing distinctively to one or the other of them mental activities which, so far as their nature is concerned, might properly belong to either. The embarrassment in studying the emotional life of Jesus arising from this cause, however, is more theoretical than practical. Some of the emotions attributed to him in the Evangelical narrative are, in one way or another, expressly assigned to his human soul. Some of them by their very nature assign themselves to his human soul. With reference to the remainder, just because they might equally well be assigned to the one nature or the other, it may be taken for granted that they belong to the human soul, if not exclusively, yet along with the divine Spirit; and they may therefore very properly be used to fill out the picture. We may thus, without serious danger of confusion, go simply to the Evangelical narrative, and, passing in review the definite ascriptions of specific emotions to Jesus in its records, found on them a conception of his emotional life which may serve as a starting-point for a study of this aspect of our Lord’s human manifestation.
The establishment of this starting-point is the single task of this essay. No attempt will be made in it to round out our view of our Lord’s emotional life. It will content itself with an attempt to ascertain the exact emotions which are expressly assigned to him in the Evangelical narrative, and will leave their mere collocation to convey its own lesson. We deceive ourselves, however, if their mere collocation does not suffice solidly to ground certain very clear convictions as to our Lord’s humanity, and to determine the lines on which our conception of the quality of his human nature must be filled out.
The emotion which we should naturally expect to find most frequently attributed to that Jesus whose whole life was a mission of mercy, and whose ministry was so marked by deeds of beneficence that it was summed up in the memory of his followers as a going through the land “doing good” (Acts xi. 38 ), is no doubt “compassion.” In point of fact, this is the emotion which is most frequently attributed to him.5 The term employed to express it6 was unknown to the Greek classics, and was perhaps a coinage of the Jewish dispersion.7 It first appears in common use in this sense, indeed, in the Synoptic Gospels,8 where it takes the place of the most inward classical word of this connotation.9 The Divine mercy has been defined as that essential perfection in God “whereby he pities and relieves the miseries of his creatures”: it includes, that is to say, the two parts of an internal movement of pity and an external act of beneficence. It is the internal movement of pity which is emphasized when our Lord is said to be “moved with compassion” as the term is sometimes excellently rendered in the English versions.10 In the appeals made to his mercy, a more external word11 is used; but it is this more internal word that is employed to express our Lord’s response to these appeals: the petitioners besought him to take pity on them; his heart responded with a profound feeling of pity for them. His compassion fulfilled itself in the outward act;12 but what is emphasized by the term employed to express our Lord’s response is, in accordance with its very derivation, the profound internal movement of his emotional nature.
This emotional movement was aroused in our Lord as well by the sight of individual distress (Mk. i. 41; Mt. xx. 34; Lk. vii. 13) as by the spectacle of man’s universal misery (Mk. vi. 34, viii. 2; Mt. ix. 36, xiv. 14, xv. 32). The appeal of two blind men that their eyes might be opened (Mt. xx. 34), the appeal of a leper for cleansing (Mk. i. 41), — though there may have been circumstances in his case which called out Jesus’ reprobation (verse 43), — set our Lord’s heart throbbing with pity, as did also the mere sight of a bereaved widow, wailing by the bier of her only son as they bore him forth to burial, though no appeal was made for relief (Lk. vii. 13).13 The ready spontaneity of Jesus’ pity is even more plainly shown when he intervenes by a great miracle to relieve temporary pangs of hunger: “I have compassion on” — or better, “I feel pity for” — “the multitude, because they continue with me now three days, and have nothing to eat: and if I send them away fasting to their home, they will faint in the way; and some of them are come from far” (Mk. viii. 2; Mt. xv. 32), — the only occasion on which Jesus is recorded as testifying to his own feeling of pity. It was not merely the physical ills of life, however, — want and disease and death, — which called out our Lord’s compassion. These ills were rather looked upon by him as themselves rooted in spiritual destitution. And it was this spiritual destitution which most deeply moved his pity. The cause and the effects are indeed very closely linked together in the narrative, and it is not always easy to separate them. Thus we read in Mark vi. 34: “And he came forth and saw a great multitude, and he had compassion on them” — better, “he felt pity for them,” — “because they were as sheep not having a shepherd, and he taught them many things.” But in the parallel passage in Mt. xiv. 14, we read: “And he came forth and saw a great multitude, and he had compassion on” (“felt pity for”) “them, and he healed their sick.” We must put the two passages together to get a complete account: their fatal ignorance of spiritual things, their evil case under the dominion of Satan in all the effects of his terrible tyranny, are alike the object of our Lord’s compassion.14 In another passage (Mt. ix. 36) the emphasis is thrown very distinctly on the spiritual destitution of the people as the cause of his compassionate regard: “But when he saw the multitude, he was moved with compassion for them, because they were distressed and scattered, as sheep not having a shepherd.” This description of the spiritual destitution of the people is cast in very strong language. They are compared to sheep which have been worn out and torn by running hither and thither through the thorns with none to direct them, and have now fallen helpless and hopeless to the ground.15 The sight of their desperate plight awakens our Lord’s pity and moves him to provide the remedy.
No other term is employed by the New Testament writers directly to express our Lord’s compassion.16 But we read elsewhere of its manifestation in tears and sighs.17 The tears which wet his cheeks18 when, looking upon the uncontrolled grief of Mary and her companions, he advanced, with heart swelling with indignation at the outrage of death, to the conquest of the destroyer (Jno. xi. 35), were distinctly tears of sympathy. Even more clearly, his own unrestrained wailing over Jerusalem and its stubborn unbelief was the expression of the most poignant pity: “O that thou hadst known in this day, even thou, the things which belong unto peace” (Lk. xix. 41)!19 The sight of suffering drew tears from his eyes; obstinate unbelief convulsed him with uncontrollable grief. Similarly when a man afflicted with dumbness and deafness was brought to him for healing we are only told that he “sighed”20 (Mk. vii. 34); but when the malignant unbelief of the Pharisees was brought home to him he “sighed from the bottom of his heart” (Mk. viii. 12).21 “Obstinate sin,” comments Swete appropriately, “drew from Christ a deeper sigh than the sight of suffering (Lk. vii. 34 and cf. Jno. xiii. 20), a sigh in which anger and sorrow both had a part (iii. 4 note).”22 We may, at any rate, place the loud wailing over the stubborn unbelief of Jerusalem and the deep sighing over the Pharisees’ determined opposition side by side as exhibitions of the profound pain given to our Lord’s sympathetic heart, by those whose persistent rejection of him required at his hands his sternest reprobation. He “sighed from the bottom of his heart” when he declared, “There shall no sign be given this generation”; he wailed aloud when he announced, “The days shall come upon thee when thine enemies shall dash thee to the ground.” It hurt Jesus to hand over even hardened sinners to their doom.
It hurt Jesus, — because Jesus’ prime characteristic was love, and love is the foundation of compassion. How close to one another the two emotions of love and compassion lie, may be taught us by the only instance in which the emotion of love is attributed to Jesus in the Synoptics (Mk. x. 21). Here we are told that Jesus, looking upon the rich young ruler, “loved”23 him, and said to him, “One thing thou lackest.” It is not the “love of complacency” which is intended, but the “love of benevolence”; that is to say, it is the love, not so much that finds good, as that intends good, — though we may no doubt allow that “love of compassion is never” — let us rather say, “seldom” — “absolutely separated from love of approbation”;24 that is to say, there is ordinarily some good to be found already in those upon whom we fix our benevolent regard. The heart of our Saviour turned yearningly to the rich young man and longed to do him good; and this is an emotion, we say, which, especially in the circumstances depicted, is not far from simple compassion.25
It is characteristic of John’s Gospel that it goes with simple directness always to the bottom of things. Love lies at the bottom of compassion. And love is attributed to Jesus only once in the Synoptics, but compassion often; while with John the contrary is true — compassion is attributed to Jesus not even once, but love often. This love is commonly the love of compassion, or, rather, let us broaden it now and say, the love of benevolence; but sometimes it is the love of sheer delight in its object. Love to God is, of course, the love of pure complacency. We are surprised to note that Jesus’ love to God is only once explicitly mentioned (Jno. xiv. 31); but in this single mention it is set before us as the motive of his entire saving work and particularly of his offering of himself up. The time of his offering is at hand, and Jesus explains: “I will no more speak much with you, for the prince of this world cometh; and he hath nothing in me; but [I yield myself to him] that the world may know that I love the Father, and as the Father gave me commandment, even so I do.”26 The motive of Jesus’ earthly life and death is more commonly presented as love for sinful men; here it is presented as loving obedience to God. He had come to do the will of the Father; and because he loved the Father, his will he will do, up to the bitter end. He declares his purpose to be, under the impulse of love, “obedience up to death, yea, the death of the cross.”
The love for man which moved Jesus to come to his succor in his sin and misery was, of course, the love of benevolence. It finds its culminating expression in the great words of Jno. xv. 13: “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends: ye are my friends, if ye do the things which I command you”27 — rather an illuminating definition of ‘friends,’ by the way, especially when it is followed by: “Ye did not choose me but I chose you and appointed you that ye should go and bear fruit.” “Friends,” it is clear, in this definition, are rather those who are loved than those who love. This culminating expression of his love for his own, by which he was sustained in his great mission of humiliation for them, is supported, however, by repeated declarations of it in the immediate and wider context. In the immediately preceding verses, for example, it is urged as the motive and norm of the love — spring of obedience — which he seeks from his disciples: “Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; and so shall ye be my disciples. Even as my Father hath loved me, I also have loved you: abide ye in my love. If ye keep my commandments ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be fulfilled. This is my commandment, that ye love one another, even as I have loved you” (Jno. xv. 8-12). As his love to the Father was the source of his obedience to the Father, and the living spring of his faithfulness to the work which had been committed to him, so he declares that the love of his followers to him, imitating and reproducing his love to them, is to be the source of their obedience to him, and through that, of all the good that can come to human beings, including, as the highest reach of social perfection, their love for one another. Self-sacrificing love is thus made the essence of the Christian life, and is referred for its incentive to the self-sacrificing love of Christ himself: Christ’s followers are to “have the same mind in them which was also in Christ Jesus.” The possessive pronouns throughout this passage — “abide in my love,” “in my love,” “in his (the Father’s) love” — are all subjective:28 so that throughout the whole, it is the love which Christ bears his people which is kept in prominent view as the impulse and standard of the love he asks from his people. This love had already been adverted to more than once in the wider context (xiii. 1, 34, xiv. 21) in the same spirit in which it is here spoken of. Its greatness is celebrated: he not only “loved his own which were in the world,” but “loved them utterly” (xiii. 1).29 It is presented as the model for the imitation of those who would live a Christian life on earth: “even as I have loved you” (xiii. 34). It is propounded as the Christian’s greatest reward: “and I will love him and manifest myself unto him” (xiv. 21).
The emotion of love as attributed to Jesus in the narrative of John is not confined, however, to these great movements — his love to his Father which impelled him to fulfil all his Father’s will in the great work of redemption and his love for those whom, in fulfilment of his Father’s will, he had chosen to be the recipients of his saving mercy, laying down his life for them. There are attributed to him also those common movements of affection which bind man to man in the ties of friendship. We hear of particular individuals whom “Jesus loved,” the meaning obviously being that his heart knit itself to theirs in a simple human fondness. The term employed to express this friendship is prevailingly that high term which designates a love that is grounded in admiration and fulfils itself in esteem;30 but the term which carries with it only the notion of personal inclination and delight is not shunned.31 We are given to understand that there was a particular one of our Lord’s most intimate circle of disciples on whom he especially poured out his personal affection. This disciple came to be known, as, by the way of eminence, “the disciple whom Jesus loved,” though there are subtle suggestions that the phrase must not be taken in too exclusive a sense.32 Both terms, the more elevated and the more intimate, are employed to express Jesus’ love for him.33 The love of Jesus for the household at Bethany and especially for Lazarus, is also expressly intimated to us, and it also by both terms, — though the more intimate one is tactfully confined to his affection for Lazarus himself. The message which the sisters sent Jesus is couched in the language of the warmest personal attachment: “Behold, he whom thou lovest is sick”; and the sight of Jesus’ tears calls from the witnessing Jews an exclamation which recognizes in him the tenderest personal feeling: “Behold, how he loved him!” But when the Evangelist widens Jesus’ affection to embrace the sisters also, he instinctively lifts the term employed to the more deferential expression of friendship: “Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus.” Jesus’ affection for Mary and Martha, while deep and close, had nothing in it of an amatory nature, and the change in the term avoids all possibility of such a misconception.34 Meanwhile, we perceive our Lord the subject of those natural movements of affection which bind the members of society together in bonds of close fellowship. He was as far as possible from insensibility to the pleasures of social intercourse (cf. Mt. xi. 19) and the charms of personal attractiveness. He had his mission to perform, and he chose his servants with a view to the performance of his mission. The relations of the flesh gave way in his heart to the relations of the spirit: “whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, he is my brother, and sister, and mother” (Mt. xii. 50) and it is “those who do the things which he commands them” whom he calls his “friends” (Jno. xv. 14). But he had also the companions of his human heart: those to whom his affections turned in a purely human attachment. His heart was open and readily responded to the delights of human association, and bound itself to others in a happy fellowship.35
The moral sense is not a mere faculty of discrimination between the qualities which we call right and wrong, which exhausts itself in their perception as different. The judgments it passes are not merely intellectual, but what we call moral judgments; that is to say, they involve approval and disapproval according to the qualities perceived. It would be impossible, therefore, for a moral being to stand in the presence of perceived wrong indifferent and unmoved. Precisely what we mean by a moral being is a being perceptive of the difference between right and wrong and reacting appropriately to right and wrong perceived as such. The emotions of indignation and anger belong therefore to the very self-expression of a moral being as such and cannot be lacking to him in the presence of wrong. We should know, accordingly, without instruction that Jesus, living in the conditions of this earthly life under the curse of sin, could not fail to be the subject of the whole series of angry emotions, and we are not surprised that even in the brief and broken narratives of his life-experiences which have been given to us, there have been preserved records of the manifestation in word and act of not a few of them. It is. interesting to note in passing that it is especially in the Gospel of Mark, which rapid and objective as it is in its narrative, is the channel through which has been preserved to us a large part of the most intimate of the details concerning our Lord’s demeanor and traits which have come down to us, that we find these records.
It is Mark, for instance, who tells us explicitly (iii. 5) that the insensibility of the Jews to human suffering exhibited in a tendency to put ritual integrity above humanity, filled Jesus with indignant anger. A man whose hand had withered, met with in the synagogue one Sabbath, afforded a sort of test-case. The Jews treated it as such and “watched Jesus whether he would heal him on the Sabbath day, that they might accuse him.” Jesus accepted the challenge. Commanding the man to “rise in the midst” of the assemblage, he put to them the searching question, generalizing the whole case: “Is it lawful to do good or to do evil on the Sabbath, to save life or to kill?” “But,” says the narrative, “they kept silent.” Then Jesus’ anger rose: “he looked around at them with anger, being grieved at the hardness of their heart.” What is meant is, not that his anger was modified by grief, his reprobation of the hardness of their hearts was mingled with a sort of sympathy for men sunk in such a miserable condition. What is meant is simply that the spectacle of their hardness of heart produced in him the deepest dissatisfaction, which passed into angry resentment.36 Thus the fundamental psychology of anger is curiously illustrated by this account; for anger always has pain at its root, and is a reaction of the soul against what gives it discomfort.37 The hardness of the Jews’ heart, vividly realized, hurt Jesus; and his anger rose in repulsion of the cause of his pain. There are thus two movements of feeling brought before us here. There is the pain which the gross manifestation of the hardness of heart of the Jews inflicted on Jesus. And there is the strong reaction of indignation which sprang out of this pain. The term by which the former feeling is expressed has at its basis the simple idea of pain, and is used in the broadest way of every kind of pain, whether physical or mental, emphasizing, however, the sensation itself, rather than its expression.38 It is employed here appropriately, in a form which throws an emphasis on the inwardness of the feeling, of the discomfort of heart produced in Jesus by the sight of man’s inhumanity to man. The expression of this discomfort was in the angry look which he swept over the unsympathetic assemblage. It is not intimated that the pain was abiding, the anger evanescent. The glance in which the anger was manifested is represented as fleeting in contrast with the pain of which the anger was the expression. But the term used for this anger is just the term for abiding resentment, set on vengeance.39 Precisely what is ascribed to Jesus, then, in this passage is that indignation at wrong, perceived as such, wishing and intending punishment to the wrong-doer, which forms the core of what we can vindicatory justice.40 This is a necessary reaction of every moral being against perceived wrong.
On another occasion Mark (x. 14) pictures Jesus to us as moved by a much lighter form of the emotion of anger. His disciples, — doubtless with a view to protecting him from needless drafts upon his time and strength, — interfered with certain parents, who were bringing to him their babies (Lk. xviii. 15) “that he should touch them.” Jesus saw their action, and, we are told, “was moved with indignation.” The term employed here41 expresses, originally, physical (such, for example, as is felt by a teething child), and then mental (Mt. xx. 24, xxi. 15, xxvi. 8; Mk. x. 41, xiv. 4; Lk. xiii. 14, cf. II Cor. vii. 11) “irritation.” Jesus was “irritated,” or perhaps we may better render, was “annoyed,” “vexed,” at his disciples. And (so the term also suggests) he showed his annoyance, — whether by gesture or tone or the mere shortness of his speech: “Let the children come to me; forbid them not!”42 Thus we see Jesus as he reacts with anger at the spectacle of inhumanity, so reacting with irritation at the spectacle of blundering misunderstanding, however well-meant.
Yet another phase of angry emotion is ascribed to Jesus by Mark, but in this case not by Mark alone. Mark (xiv. 3) tells us that on healing a leper, Matthew (ix. 30) that on healing two blind men, Jesus “straitly,” “strictly,” “sternly,” “charged” them, — as our English versions struggle with the term, in an attempt to make it describe merely the tone and manner of his injunction to the beneficiaries of his healing power, not to tell of the cures wrought upon them. This term,43 however, does not seem to mean, in its ordinary usage, to “charge,” to “enjoin,” however straitly or strictly, but simply to “be angry at,” or, since it commonly implies that the anger is great, to “be enraged with,” or, perhaps better still, since it usually intimates that the anger is expressed by audible signs, to “rage against.” If we are to take it in its customary sense, therefore, what we are really told in these passages is that Jesus, “when he had raged against the leper, sent him away;” that “he raged against the blind men, saying, ‘See that no one know it!” If this rage is to be supposed (with our English versions) to have expressed itself only in the words recorded, the meaning would not be far removed from that of the English word “bluster” in its somewhat rare transitive use, as, for example, when an old author writes: “He meant to bluster all princes into perfect obedience.”44 The implication of boisterousness, and indeed of empty noise, which attends the English word, however, is quite lacking from the Greek, the rage expressed by which is always thought of as very real. What it has in common with “bluster” is thus merely its strong minatory import. The Vulgate Latin accordingly cuts the knot by rendering it simply “threatened,” and is naturally followed in this by those English versions (Wycliffe, Rheims) which depend on it.45 Certainly Jesus is represented here as taking up a menacing attitude, and threatening words are placed on his lips: “See that thou say nothing to any man,” “See that no one know it”— a form of speech which always conveys a threat.46 But “threaten” can scarcely be accepted as an adequate rendering of the term whether in itself or in these contexts. When Matthew tells us “And he was enraged at them, saying . . .” the rage may no doubt be thought to find its outlet in the threatening words which follow:47 but the implication of Mark is different: “And raging at him,” or “having raged at him” — “he straightway sent him forth.” When it is added: “And saith to him, ‘See that thou say nothing to any one” a subsequent moment in the transaction is indicated.48 How our Lord’s rage was manifested, we are not told. And this is really just as true in the case of Matthew as in that of Mark. To say, “he was enraged at them, saying (threatening words),” is not to say merely, “he threatened them”: it is to say that a threat was uttered and that this threat was the suitable accompaniment of his rage.
The cause of our Lord’s anger does not lie on the surface in either case. The commentators seem generally inclined to account for it by supposing that Jesus foresaw that his injunction of silence would be disregarded.49 But this explanation, little natural in itself, seems quite unsuitable to the narrative in Mark where we are told, not that Jesus angrily enjoined the leper to silence, but that he angrily sent him away. Others accordingly seek the ground of his anger in something displeasing to him in the demeanor of the applicants for his help, in their mode of approaching or addressing him, in erroneous conceptions with which they were animated, and the like. Klostermann imagines that our Lord did not feel that miraculous healings lay in the direct line of his vocation, and was irritated because he had been betrayed by his compassion into undertaking them. Volkmar goes the length of supposing that Jesus resented the over-reverential form of the address of the leper to him, on the principle laid down in Rev. xix. 10, “See thou do it not: I am a fellow-servant with thee.” Even Keil suggests that Jesus was angry with the blind men because they addressed him openly as “Son of David,” not wishing “this untimely proclamation of him as Messiah on the part of those who held him as such only on account of his miracles.” It is more common to point out some shortcoming in the applicants: they did not approach him with sufficient reverence or with sufficient knowledge of the true nature of his mission; they demanded their cure too much as a matter of course, or too much as if from a mere marvel-monger; and in the case of the leper at least, with too little regard to their own obligations. A leper should not approach a stranger; certainly he should not ask or permit a stranger to put his hand upon him; especially should he not approach a stranger in the streets of a city (Lk. v. 12) and very particularly not in a house (Mk. i. 43: “He put him out”), above all if it were, as it might well be here, a private house. That Jesus was indignant at such gross disregard of law was natural and fully explains his vehemence in driving the leper out and sternly admonishing him to go and fulfil the legal requirements.50 This variety of explanation is the index of the slightness of the guidance given in the passages themselves to the cause of our Lord’s anger; but it can throw no doubt upon the fact of that anger, which is directly asserted in both instances and must not be obscured by attributing to the term by which it is expressed some lighter significance.51 The term employed declares that Jesus exhibited vehement anger, which was audibly manifested.52 This anger did not inhibit, however, the operation of his compassion (Mk. i. 41; Mt. ix. 27) but appears in full manifestation as its accompaniment. This may indicate that its cause lay outside the objects of his compassion, in some general fact the nature of which we may possibly learn from other instances.
The same term occurs again in John’s narrative of our Lord’s demeanor at the grave of his beloved friend Lazarus (Jno. xi. 33, 38). When Jesus saw Mary weeping — or rather “wailing,” for the term is a strong one and implies the vocal expression of the grief53 — and the Jews which accompanied her also “wailing,” we are told, as our English version puts it, that “he groaned in the spirit and was troubled”; and again, when some of the Jews, remarking on his own manifestation of grief in tears, expressed their wonder that he who had opened the eyes of the blind man could not have preserved Lazarus from death, we are told that Jesus “again groaned in himself.” The natural suggestion of the word “groan” is, however, that of pain or sorrow, not disapprobation; and this rendering of the term in question is therefore misleading. It is better rendered in the only remaining passage in which it occurs in the New Testament, Mk. xiv. 5, by “murmured,” though this is much too weak a word to reproduce its implications. In that passage it is brought into close connection with a kindred term54 which determines its meaning. We read: “But there were some that had indignation among themselves . . . and they murmured against her.” Their feeling of irritated displeasure expressed itself in an outburst of temper. The margin of our Revised Version at Jno. xi. 33, 38, therefore, very properly proposes that we should for “groaned” in these passages, substitute “moved with indignation,” although that phrase too is scarcely strong enough. What John tells us, in point of fact, is that Jesus approached the grave of Lazarus, in a state, not of uncontrollable grief, but of irrepressible anger. He did respond to the spectacle of human sorrow abandoning itself to its unrestrained expression, with quiet, sympathetic tears: “Jesus wept” (verse 36).55 But the emotion which tore his breast and clamored for utterance was just rage. The expression even of this rage, however, was strongly curbed. The term which John employs to describe it is, as we have seen, a definitely external term.56 “He raged.” But John modifies its external sense by annexed qualifications: “He raged in spirit,” “raging in himself” He thus interiorizes the term and gives us to understand that the ebullition of Jesus’ anger expended itself within him. Not that there was no manifestation of it: it must have been observable to be observed and recorded;57 it formed a marked feature of the occurrence as seen and heard.58 But John gives us to understand that the external expression of our Lord’s fury was markedly restrained: its manifestation fell far short of its real intensity. He even traces for us the movements of his inward struggle: “Jesus, therefore, when he saw her wailing, and the Jews that had come with her wailing, was enraged in spirit and troubled himself’59 . . . and wept. His inwardly restrained fury produced a profound agitation of his whole being, one of the manifestations of which was tears.
Why did the sight of the wailing of Mary and her companions enrage Jesus? Certainly not because of the extreme violence of its expression; and even more certainly not because it argued unbelief — unwillingness to submit to God’s providential ordering or distrust of Jesus’ power to save. He himself wept, if with less violence yet in true sympathy. with the grief of which he was witness. The intensity of his exasperation, moreover, would be disproportionate to such a cause; and the importance attached to it in the account bids us seek its ground in something less incidental to the main drift of the narrative. It is mentioned twice, and is obviously emphasized as an indispensable element in the development of the story, on which, in its due place and degree, the lesson of the incident hangs. The spectacle of the distress of Mary and her companions enraged Jesus because it brought poignantly home to his consciousness the evil of death, its unnaturalness, its “violent tyranny” as Calvin (on verse 38) phrases it. In Mary’s grief, he “contemplates” — still to adopt Calvin’s words (on verse 33), — “the general misery of the whole human race” and burns with rage against the oppressor of men. Inextinguishable fury seizes upon him; his whole being is discomposed and perturbed; and his heart, if not his lips, cries out, —
“For the innumerable dead
Is my soul disquieted.”60
It is death that is the object of his wrath, and behind death him who has the power of death, and whom he has come into the world to destroy. Tears of sympathy may fill his eyes, but this is incidental. His soul is held by rage: and he advances to the tomb, in Calvin’s words again, “as a champion who prepares for conflict.” The raising of Lazarus thus becomes, not an isolated marvel, but — as indeed it is presented throughout the whole narrative (compare especially, verses 24-26) — a decisive instance and open symbol of Jesus’ conquest of death and hell. What John does for us in this particular statement is to uncover to us the heart of Jesus, as he wins for us our salvation. Not in cold unconcern, but in flaming wrath against the foe, Jesus smites in our behalf. He has not only saved us from the evils which oppress us; he has felt for and with us in our oppression, and under the impulse of these feelings has wrought out our redemption.61
There is another term which the Synoptic Gospels employ to describe our Lord’s dealing with those he healed (Mt. xii. 16), which is sometimes rendered by our English versions — as the term we have just been considering is rendered in similar connections (Mk. i. 43; Mt. ix. 30) — by “charged” (Mt. xli. 16, xvi. 20; Mk. iii. 12, viii. 30, ix. 21); but more frequently with more regard to its connotation of censure, implying displeasure, “by rebuked” (Mt. xvii. 18; Mk. ix. 21; Lk. iv. 35-41, xix. 42; Mk. viii. 30; Lk. ix. 55; Mt. viii. 20; Mk. iv. 39; Lk. iv. 39, viii. 24).62 This term, the fundamental meaning of which is “to mete out due measure,” with that melancholy necessity which carries all terms which express doing justice to sinful men downwards in their connotation, is used in the New Testament only in malam partem, and we may be quite sure is never employed without its implication of censure.63 What is implied by its employment is that our Lord in working certain cures, and, indeed, in performing others of his miracles — as well as in laying charges on his followers — spoke, not merely “strongly and peremptorily,”64 but chidingly, that is to say, with expressed displeasure.65 There is in these instances perhaps not so strong but just as clear an ascription of the emotion of anger to our Lord as in those we have already noted, and this suggests that not merely in the case of the raising of Lazarus but in many other instances in which he put forth his almighty power to rescue men from the evils which burdened them, our Lord was moved by an ebullition of indignant anger at the destructive powers exhibited in disease or even in the convulsions of nature.66 In instances like Mt. xii. 16; Mk. 12; Mt. xvi. 20; Mk. viii. 30; Lk. ix. 21, the censure inherent in the term may almost seem to become something akin to menace or threat: “he chided them to the end that they should not make him known”; he made a show of anger or displeasure directed to this end. In the cases where, however, Jesus chided the unclean spirits which he cast out it seems to lie in the nature of things that it was the tyrannous evil which they were working upon their victims that was the occasion of his displeasure.67 When he is said to have “rebuked” a fever which was tormenting a human being (Lk. iv. 39) or the natural elements — the wind and sea — menacing human lives (Mt. viii. 26; Mk. iv. 39; Lk. viii. 24), there is no reason to suppose that he looked upon these natural powers as themselves personal, and as little that the personification is only figurative; we may not improperly suppose that the displeasure he exhibited in his upbraiding them was directed against the power behind these manifestations of a nature out of joint, the same malignant influence which he advanced to the conquest of when he drew near to the tomb of Lazarus.68 In any event the series of passages in which this term is employed to ascribe to Jesus acts inferring displeasure, greatly enlarges the view we have of the play of Jesus’ emotions of anger. We see him chiding his disciples, the demons that were tormenting men, and the natural powers which were menacing their lives or safety, and speaking in tones of rebuke to the multitudes who were the recipients of his healing grace (Mt. xii. 16). And that we are not to suppose that this chiding was always mild we are advised by the express declaration that it was in one instance at least, “vehement” (Mk. iii. 12).69
Perhaps in no incidents recorded in the Gospels is the action of our Lord’s indignation more vividly displayed than in the accounts of the cleansings of the Temple. In closing the account which he gives of the earlier of these, John tells us that “his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house shall eat me up” (Jno. ii. 17). The word here employed — “zeal” — may mean nothing more than “ardor”; but this ardor may burn with hot indignation, — we read of a “zeal of fire which shall devour the adversaries” (Heb. x. 27). And it seems to be this hot indignation at the pollution of the house of God — this “burning jealousy for the holiness of the house of God”70 — which it connotes in our present passage. In this act, Jesus in effect gave vent “to a righteous anger,”71 and perceiving his wrathful zeal72 his followers recognized in it the Messianic fulfilment of the words in which the Psalmist represents himself. as filled with a zeal for the house of Jehovah, and the honor of him who sits in it, that “consumes him like a fire burning in his bones, which incessantly breaks through and rages all through him.”73 The form in which it here breaks forth is that of indignant anger towards those who defile God’s house with trafficking, and it thus presents us with one of the most striking manifestations of the anger of Jesus in act.
It is far, however, from being the only instance in which the action of Jesus’ anger is recorded for us. And the severity of his language equals the decisiveness of his action. He does not scruple to assault his opponents with the most vigorous denunciation. Herod he calls “that fox” (Lk. xiii. 32); the unreceptive, he designates briefly “swine” (Mt. vii. 6) ; those that tempt him he visits with the extreme term of ignominy — Satan (Mk. viii. 33). The opprobrious epithet of “hypocrites” is repeatedly on his lips (Mt. xv. 7, xxiii. passim; Lk. xiii. 15), and he added force to this reprobation by clothing it in violent figures, — they were “blind guides,” “whited sepulchres,” and, less tropically, “a faithless and perverse generation,” a “wicked and adulterous generation.” He does not shrink even from vituperatively designating them ravening wolves (Mt. vii. 15), serpents, brood of vipers (Mt. xii. 34), even children of the evil one: “Ye are,” he declares plainly, “of your father, the Devil” (Jno. viii. 44). The long arraignment of the Pharisees in the twenty-third chapter of Matthew with its iterant, “Woe unto you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!” and its uncompromising denunciation, fairly throbs with indignation, and brings Jesus, before us in his sternest mood, the mood of the nobleman in the parable (Lk. xix. 27), whom he represents as commanding: “And as for these my enemies, bring them hither and slay them before me.”74
The holy resentment of Jesus has been made the subject of a famous chapter in Ecco Homo.75 The contention of this chapter is that he who loves men must needs hate with a burning hatred all that does wrong to human beings, and that, in point of fact, Jesus never wavered in his consistent resentment of the special wrong-doing which he was called upon to witness. The chapter announces as its thesis, indeed, the paradox that true mercy is no less the product of anger than of pity: that what differentiates the divine virtue of mercy from “the vice of insensibility” which is called “tolerance,” is just the under-lying presence of indignation. Thus — so the reasoning runs, — “the man who cannot be angry cannot be merciful,” and it was therefore precisely the anger of Christ which proved that the unbounded compassion he manifested to sinners “was really mercy and not mere tolerance.” The analysis is doubtless incomplete; but the suggestion, so far as it goes, is fruitful. Jesus’ anger is not merely the seamy side of his pity; it is the righteous reaction of his moral sense in the presence of evil. But Jesus burned with anger against the wrongs he met with in his journey through human life as truly as he melted with pity at the sight of the world’s misery: and it was out of these two emotions that his actual mercy proceeded.
We call our Lord “the Man of Sorrows,” and the designation is obviously appropriate for one who came into the world to bear the sins of men and to give his life a ransom for many. It is, however, not a designation which is applied to Christ in the New Testament, and even in the Prophet (Is. liii. 3) it may very well refer rather to the objective afflictions of the righteous servant than to his subjective distresses.76 In any event we must bear in mind that our Lord did not come into the world to be broken by the power of sin and death, but to break it. He came as a conqueror with the gladness of the imminent victory in his heart; for the joy set before him he was able to endure the cross, despising shame (Heb. xii. 2). And as he did not prosecute his work in doubt of the issue, neither did he prosecute it hesitantly as to its methods. He rather (so we are told, Lk. x. 21) “exulted in the Holy Spirit” as he contemplated the ways of God in bringing many sons to glory. The word is a strong one and conveys the idea of exuberant gladness, a gladness which fills the heart;77 and it is intimated that, on this occasion at least, this exultation was a product in Christ — and therefore in his human nature — of the operations of the Holy Spirit,78 whom we must suppose to have been always working in the human soul of Christ, sustaining and strengthening it. It cannot be supposed that, this particular occasion alone being excepted, Jesus prosecuted his work on earth in a state of mental depression. His advent into the world was announced as “good tidings of great joy” (Lk. ii. 10), and the tidings which he himself proclaimed were “the good tidings” by way of eminence. It is conceivable that he went about proclaiming them with a “sad countenance” (Mt. vi. 16)? It is misleading then to say merely, with Jeremy Taylor, “We never read that Jesus laughed and but once that he rejoiced in spirit.”79 We do read that, in contrast with John the Baptist, he came “eating and drinking,” and accordingly was malignantly called “a gluttonous man and a wine-bibber, a friend of publicans and sinners” (Mt. xi. 19; Lk. vii. 34) ; and this certainly does not encourage us to think of his demeanor at least as habitually sorrowful.
It is pure perversion, to be sure, when Renan, after the debasing fashion of his sentimentalizing frivolity, transmutes Jesus’ joy in his redemptive work (Jno. xv. 11, xvii. 13) into mere pagan lightness of heart and delight in living, as if his fundamental disposition were a kind of “sweet gaiety” which “was incessantly expressing itself in lively reflections, and kindly pleasantries.” He assures us that Jesus travelled about Palestine almost as if he was some lord of revelry, bringing a festival wherever he came, and greeted at every doorstep “as a joy and a benediction”: “the women and children adored him.” The infancy of the world had come back with him “with its divine spontaneity and its naive dizzinesses of joy.” At his touch the hard conditions of life vanished from sight, and there took possession of men, the dream of an imminent paradise, of “a delightful garden in which should continue forever the charming life they now were living.” “How long,” asks Renan, “did this intoxication last?”, and answers: “We do not know. During the continuance of this magical apparition, time was not measured. Duration was suspended; a week was a century. But whether it filled years or months, the dream was so beautiful that humanity has lived on it ever since, and our consolation still is to catch its fading fragrance. Never did so much joy stir the heart of man. For a moment in this most vigorous attempt it has ever made to lift itself above its planet, humanity forgot the leaden weight which holds it to the earth and the sorrows of the life here below. Happy he who could see with his own eyes this divine efflorescence and share, if even for a day, this unparalleled illusion!”80
The perversion is equally great, however, when there is attributed to our Lord, as it is now very much the fashion to do, “before the black shadow of the cross fell athwart his pathway,” the exuberant joy of a great hope never to be fulfilled: the hope of winning his people to his side and of inaugurating the Kingdom of God upon this sinful earth by the mere force of its proclamation.81 Jesus was never the victim of any such illusion: he came into the world on a mission of ministering mercy to the lost, giving his life as a ransom for many (Lk. xix. 10; Mk. x. 4; Mt. xx. 28); and from the beginning he set his feet steadfastly in the path of suffering (Mt. iv. 3 f.; Lk. iv. 3 f.) which he knew led straight onward to death ( Jno. ii. 19, iii. 14; Mt. xii. 40; Lk. xii. 49-50; Mt. ix. 15; Mk. ii. 1-9; Lk. v. 34, etc.). Joy he had: but it was not the shallow joy of mere pagan delight in living, nor the delusive joy of a hope destined to failure; but the deep exultation of a conqueror setting captives free. This joy underlay all his sufferings and shed its light along the whole thorn-beset path which was trodden by his torn feet. We hear but little of it, however, as we hear but little of his sorrows: the narratives are not given to descriptions of the mental states of the great actor whose work they illustrate. We hear just enough of it to assure us of its presence underlying and giving its color to all his life (Lk. iv. 21;82 Jno. v. 11, xvii. 1383). If our Lord was “the Man of Sorrows,” he was more profoundly still “the Man of Joy.”84
Of the lighter pleasurable emotions that flit across the mind in response to appropriate incitements arising occasionally in the course of social intercourse, we also hear little in the case of Jesus. It is not once recorded that he laughed; we do not ever hear even that he smiled; only once are we told that he was glad, and then it is rather sober gratification than exuberant delight which is spoken of in connection with him (Jno. xi. 15). But, then, we hear little also of his passing sorrows. The sight of Mary and her companions wailing at the tomb of Lazarus, agitated his soul and caused him tears (Jno. xi. 35) ; the stubborn unbelief of Jerusalem drew from him loud wailing (Lk. xix. 41). He sighed at the sight of human suffering (Mk. vii. 34) and “sighed deeply” over men’s hardened unbelief (viii. 12): man’s inhumanity to man smote his heart with pain (iii. 5). But it is only with reference to his supreme sacrifice that his mental sufferings are emphasized. This supreme sacrifice cast, it is true, its shadows before it. It was in the height of his ministry that our Lord exclaimed, “I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I straitened till it be accomplished” (Lk. xii. 50).85 Floods lie before him under which he is to be submerged,86 and the thought of passing beneath their waters “straitens” his soul. The term rendered “straitened”87 imports oppression and affliction, and bears witness to the burden of anticipated anguish which our Lord bore throughout life. The prospect of his sufferings, it has been justly said, was a perpetua188 Gethsemane; and how complete this foretaste was we may learn from the incident recorded in Jno. xii. 27,89 although this antedated Gethsemane, by only a few days. “Now is my soul90 troubled,” he cries and adds a remarkable confession of shrinking at the prospect of death, with, however, an immediate revulsion to his habitual attitude of submission to, or rather of hearty embracing of, his Father’s will. — “And what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour!91 But for this cause, came I to this hour! Father, glorify Thy name!” He had come into the world to die; but as he vividly realizes what the death is which he is to die, there rises in his soul a yearning for deliverance, only however, to be at once repressed.92 The state of mind in which this sharp conflict went on is described by a term the fundamental implication of which is agitation, disquietude, perplexity.93 This perturbation of soul is three times attributed by John to Jesus (xi. 33, xii. 27, xiii. 21), and always as expressing the emotions which conflict with death stirred in him. The anger roused in him by the sight of the distress into which death had plunged Mary and her companions (xi. 33); the anticipation of his own betrayal to death (xiii. 21); the clearly realized approach of his death (xii. 27); threw him inwardly into profound agitation. It was not always the prospect of his own death (xii. 27, xiii. 21), but equally the poignant realization of what death meant for others (xi. 33) which had the power thus to disquiet him. His deep agitation was clearly, therefore, not due to mere recoil from the physical experience of death,94 though even such a recoil might be the expression not so much of a terror of dying as of repugnance to the idea of death.95 Behind death, he saw him who has the power of death, and that sin which constitutes the sting of death. His whole being revolted from that final and deepest humiliation, in which the powers of evil were to inflict upon him the precise penalty of human sin. To bow his head beneath this stroke was the last indignity, the hardest act of that obedience which it was his to render in his servant-form, and which we are told with significant emphasis, extended “up to death” (Phil. ii. 8).
So profound a repugnance to death and all that death meant, manifesting itself during his life, could not fail to seize upon him with peculiar intensity at the end. If the distant prospect of his sufferings was a perpetual Gethsemane to him, the immediate imminence of them in the actual Gethsemane could not fail to bring with it that “awful and dreadful torture” which Calvin does not scruple to call the “exordium” of the pains of hell themselves.96 Matthew and Mark almost exhaust the resources of language to convey to us some conception of our Lord’s “agony”97 as an early interpolator of Luke (Lk. xxii. 44) calls it, in this dreadful experience.98 The anguish of reluctance which constituted this “agony” is in part described by them both — they alone of the Evangelists enter into our Lord’s feelings here — by a term the primary idea of which is loathing, aversion, perhaps not unmixed with despondency.99 This term is adjoined in Matthew’s account to the common word for sorrow, in which, however, here the fundamental element of pain, distress, is prominent,100 so that we may perhaps render Matthew’s account: “He began to be distressed and despondent” (Mt. xxvi. 37). Instead of this wide word for distress of mind, Mark employs a term which more narrowly defines the distress as consternation, — if not exactly dread, yet alarmed dismay:101 “He began to be appalled and despondent” (Mk. xiv. 33). Both accounts add our Lord’s own pathetic declaration: “My soul102 is exceeding sorrowful even unto death,” the central term103 in which expresses a sorrow, or perhaps we would better say, a mental pain, a distress, which hems in on every side, from which there is therefore no escape; or rather (for the qualification imports that this hemming-in distress is mortally acute, is an anguish of a sort that no issue but death can be thought of104) which presses in and besets from every side and therefore leaves no place for defence. The extremity of this agony may have been revealed, as the interpolator of Luke tells us, by sweat dropping like clots of blood on the ground, as our Lord ever more importunately urged that wonderful prayer, in which as Bengel strikingly says,105 the horror of death and the ardor of obedience met (Lk. xxii. 44). This interpolator tells us (Lk. xxii. 43) also that he was strengthened for the conflict by an angelic visitor, and we may well suppose that had it not been for some supernatural strengthening mercifully vouchsafed (cf. Jno. xii. 27f. ), the end would then have come.’106 But the cup must needs be drained to its dregs, and the final drop was not drunk until that cry of desertion and desolation was uttered, “My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?” (Mt. xxvii. 46; Mk. xv. 34).107 This culminating sorrow was actually unto death.
In these supreme moments our Lord sounded the ultimate depths of human anguish, and vindicated on the score of the intensity of his mental sufferings the right to the title of Man of Sorrows. The scope of these sufferings was also very broad, embracing that whole series of painful emotions which runs from a consternation that is appalled dismay, through a despondency which is almost despair, to a sense of well-nigh complete desolation. In the presence of this mental anguish the physical tortures of the crucifixion retire into the background, and we may well believe that our Lord, though he died on the cross, yet died not of the cross, but, as we commonly say, of a broken heart, that is to say, of the strain of his mental suffering.108 The sensitiveness of his soul to affectional movements, and the depths of the currents of feeling which flowed through his being, are thus thrown up into a very clear light. And yet it is noticeable that while they tore his heart and perhaps, in the end, broke the bonds which bound his fluttering spirit to its tenement of clay, they never took the helm of life or overthrew either the judgment of his calm understanding or the completeness of his perfect trust in his Father. If he cried out in his agony for deliverance, it was always the cry of a child to a Father whom he trusts with all and always, and with the explicit condition, Howbeit, not what I will but what Thou wilt. If the sense of desolation invades his soul, he yet confidingly commends his departing spirit into his Father’s hands (Lk. xxiii. 46).109 And through all his agony his demeanor to his disciples, his enemies, his judges, his executioners is instinct with calm self-mastery. The cup which was put to his lips was bitter: none of its bitterness was lost to him as he drank it: but he drank it; and he drank it as his own cup which it was his own will (because it was his Father’s will) to drink. “The cup which the Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?” (Jno. xviii. 11), — it was in this spirit, not of unwilling subjection to unavoidable evil, but of voluntary endurance of unutterable anguish for adequate ends, that he passed into and through all his sufferings. His very passion was his own action. He had power to lay down his life; and it was by his own power that he laid down his life, and by his own power that he trod the whole pathway of suffering which led up to the formal act of his laying down his life. Nowhere is he the victim of circumstances or the helpless sufferer. Everywhere and always, it is he who possesses the mastery both of circumstances and of himself.’110
The completeness of Jesus’ trust in God which is manifested in the unconditional “Nevertheless, not as I will but as Thou wilt” of the “agony,” and is echoed in the “Father, into Thy hands I commend my spirit” of the cross, finds endless illustration in the narratives of the Evangelists. Trust is never, however, explicitly attributed to him in so many words.111 Except in the scoffing language with which he was assailed as he hung on the cross: “He trusteth in God; let him deliver him now if he desireth him” (Mt. xxvii. 43), the term “trust” is never so much as mentioned in connection with his relations with God. Nor is the term “faith.”112 Nor indeed are many of what we may call the fundamental religious affections directly attributed to him, although he is depicted as literally living, moving and having his being in God. His profound feeling of dependence on God, for example, is illustrated in every conceivable way, not least strikingly in the constant habit of prayer which the Evangelists ascribe to him.113 But we are never directly told that he felt this dependence on God or “feared God” or felt the emotions of reverence and awe in the divine presence.114 We are repeatedly told that he returned thanks to God,115 but we are never told in so many words that he experienced the emotion of gratitude. The narrative brings Jesus before us as acting under the impulse of all the religious emotions; but it does not stop to comment upon the emotions themselves.
The same is true of the more common emotions of human life. The narrative is objective throughout in its method. On two occasions we are told that Jesus felt that occurrences which he witnessed were extraordinary and experienced the appropriate emotion of “wonder” regarding them (Mt. viii. 10; Lk. vii. 9; Mk. vi. 6).116 Once “desire” is attributed to him (Lk. xxii. 15), — he had “set his heart,” as we should say, upon eating the final passover with his disciples — the term used emphasizing the affectional movement.117 And once our Lord speaks of himself as being conceivably the subject of “shame,” the reference being, however, rather to a mode of action consonant with the emotion, than to the feeling itself (Mk. viii. 38; Lk. iv. 26).118 Besides these few chance suggestions, there are none of the numerous emotions that rise and fall in the human soul, which happen to be explicitly attributed to our Lord.119 The reader sees them all in play in his vividly narrated life-experiences, but he is not told of them.
We have now passed in review the whole series of explicit attributions to our Lord in the Gospels of specific emotional movements. It belongs to the occasional manner in which these emotional movements find record in the narrative, that it is only our Lord’s most noticeable displays of emotion which are noted. One of the effects of this is to give to his emotions as noted the appearance of peculiar strength, vividness and completeness. This serves to refute the notion which has been sometimes advanced under the influence of the “apathetic” conception of virtue, that emotional movements never ran their full course in him as we experience them, but stopped short at some point in their action deemed the point of dignity.120 In doing so, it serves equally, however, to carry home to us a very vivid impression of the truth and reality of our Lord’s human nature. What we are given is, no doubt, only the high lights. But it is easy to fill in the picture mentally with the multitude of emotional movements which have not found record just because they were in no way exceptional. Here obviously is a being who reacts as we react to the incitements which arise in daily intercourse with men, and whose reactions bear all the characteristics of the corresponding emotions we are familiar with in our experience.
Perhaps it may be well explicitly to note that our Lord’s emotions fulfilled themselves, as ours do, in physical reactions. He who hungered (Mt. iv. 2), thirsted (Jno. xix. 20), was weary (Jno. iv. 6), who knew both physical pain and pleasure, expressed also in bodily affections the emotions that stirred his soul. That he did so is sufficiently evinced by the simple circumstance that these emotions were observed and recorded. But the bodily expression of the emotions is also frequently expressly attested. Not only do we read that he wept (Jno. xi. 35) and wailed (Lk. xix. 41), sighed (Mk. vii. 34) and groaned (Mk. viii. 12) ; but we read also of his angry glare (Mk. iii. 5), his annoyed speech (Mk. x. 14), his chiding words (e. g. Mk. iii. 12), the outbreaking ebullition of his rage (e.g. Jno. xi. 33, 38) ; of the agitation of his bearing when under strong feeling (Jno. xi. 35), the open exultation of his joy (Lk. x. 21), the unrest of his movements in the face of anticipated evils (Mt. xxvii. 37), the loud cry which was wrung from him in his moment of desolation (Mt. xxvii. 46). Nothing is lacking to make the impression strong that we have before us in Jesus a human being like ourselves.
It is part of the content of this impression, that Jesus appears before us in the light of the play of his emotions as a distinct human being, with his own individuality and — shall we not say it? — even temperament. It is, indeed, sometimes suggested that the Son of God assumed at the incarnation not a human nature but human nature, that is to say, not human nature as manifesting itself in an individual, but human nature in general, “generic” or “universal” human nature. The idea which it is meant to express, is not a very clear one,121 and is apparently only a relic of the discountenanced fiction of the “real” existence of universals. In any case the idea receives no support from a survey of the emotional life of our Lord as it is presented to us in the Evangelical narratives. The impression of a distinct individuality acting in accordance with its specific character as such, which is left on the mind by these narratives is very strong. Whether our Lord’s human nature is “generic” or “individual,” it certainly — the Evangelists being witness — functioned in the days of his flesh as if it were individual; and we have the same reason for pronouncing it an individual human-nature that we have for pronouncing such any human nature of whose functioning we have knowledge.122.
This general conclusion is quite independent of the precise determination of the peculiarity of the individuality which our Lord exhibits. He himself, on a great occasion, sums up his individual character (in express contrast with other individuals) in the declaration, “I am meek and lowly of heart.” And no impression was left by his life-manifestation more deeply imprinted upon the consciousness of his followers than that of the noble humility of his bearing. It was by the “meekness and gentleness of Christ” that they encouraged one another to a life becoming a Christian man’s profession (II Cor. x. 1); for “the patience of Christ” that they prayed in behalf of one another as a blessing worthy to be set in their aspirations by the side of the “love of God” (II Thess. iii. 5); to the imitation of Christ’s meek acceptance of undeserved outrages that they exhorted one another in persecution — “because Christ also suffered for sin, leaving you an example, that ye should follow in his steps; who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth; who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously” (I Pet. ii. 21-23). Nevertheless we cannot fix upon humility as in such a sense our Lord’s “quality” as to obsecure in him other qualities which might seem to stand in conflict with it; much less as carrying with it those “defects” which are apt to accompany it when it appears as the “quality” of others. Meekness in our Lord was not a weak bearing of evils, but a strong forbearance in the presence of evil. It was not so much a fundamental characteristic of a nature constitutionally averse to asserting itself, as a voluntary submission of a strong person bent on an end. It did not, therefore, so much give way before indignation when the tension became too great for it to bear up against it, as coexist with a burning indignation at all that was evil, in a perfect equipoise which knew no wavering to this side or that.’ It was, in a word, only the manifestation in him of the mind which looks not on its own things but the things of others (Phil. ii. 5), and therefore spells “mission,” not “temperament.” We cannot in any case define his temperament, as we define other men’s temperaments, by pointing to his dominant characteristics or the prevailing direction of his emotional discharges.123 In this sense he had no particular temperament, and it might with truth be said that his human nature was generic, not individual. The mark of his individuality was harmonious completeness: of him alone of men, it may be truly said that nothing that is human was alien to him, and that all that is human manifested itself in him in perfect proportion and balance.
The series of emotions attributed to our Lord in the Evangelical narrative, in their variety and their complex but harmonious interaction, illustrate, though, of course, they cannot of themselves demonstrate, this balanced comprehensiveness of his individuality. Various as they are, they do not inhibit one another; compassion and indignation rise together in his soul; joy and sorrow meet in his heart and kiss each other. Strong as they are — not mere joy but exhultation, not mere irritated annoyance but raging indignation, not mere passing pity but the deepest movements of compassion and love, not mere surface distress but an exceeding sorrow even unto death, — they never overmaster him. He remains ever in control.124 Calvin is, therefore, not without justification, when, telling us125 that in taking human affections our Lord did not take inordinate affections, but kept himself even in his passions in subjection to the will of the Father, he adds: “In short, if you compare his passions with ours, they will differ not less than the clear and pure water, flowing in a gentle course, differs from dirty and muddy foam.”126 The figure which is here employed may, no doubt, be unduly pressed:127 but Calvin has no intention of suggesting doubt of either the reality or the strength of our Lord’s emotional reactions. He expressly turns away from the tendency from which even an Augustine is not free, to reduce the affectional life of our Lord to a mere show, and commends to us rather, as Scriptural, the simplicity which affirms that “the Son of God having clothed himself with our flesh, of his own accord clothed himself also with human feelings, so that he did not differ at all from his brethren, sin only excepted.” He is only solicitous that, as Christ did not disdain to stoop to the feeling of our infirmities, we should be eager, not indeed to eradicate our affections, “seeking after that inhuman apatheia commended by the Stoics,” but “to correct and subdue that obstinacy which pervades them, on account of the sin of Adam,” and to imitate Christ our Leader, — who is himself the rule of supreme perfection — in subduing all their excesses. For Christ, he adds for our encouragement, had this very thing in view, when he took our affections upon himself — “that through his power we might subdue everything in them that is sinful.” Thus, Calvin, with his wonted eagerness for religious impression, points to the emotional life of Jesus, not merely as a proof of his humanity, but as an incitement to his followers to a holy life accordant with the will of God. We are not to be content to gaze upon him or to admire him: we must become imitators of him, until we are metamorphosed into the same image.
Even this is, of course, not quite the highest note. The highest note — Calvin does not neglect it — is struck by the Epistle to the Hebrews, when it declares that “it behooved him in all things to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful High-priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people” (Heb. ii. 17). “Surely,” says the Prophet (Is. liii. 4), “he hath borne our griefs and carried our sorrows” — a general statement to which an Evangelist (Mt. viii. 1) has given a special application (as a case in point) when he adduces it in the form, “himself took our infirmities and bore our diseases.” He subjected himself to the conditions of our human life that he might save us from the evil that curses human life in its sinful manifestation. When we observe him exhibiting the movements of his human emotions, we are gazing on the very process of our salvation: every manifestation of the truth of our Lord’s humanity is an exhibition of the reality of our redemption. In his sorrows he was bearing our sorrows, and having passed through a human life like ours, he remains forever able to be touched with a feeling of our infirmities. Such a High Priest, in the language of the Epistle to the Hebrews, “became” us. We needed such an one.128 When we note the marks of humanity in Jesus Christ, we are observing his fitness to serve our needs. We behold him made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, and our hearts add our witness that it became him for whom are all things and through whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory to make the author of their salvation perfect through suffering.
It is not germane to the present inquiry to enter into the debate as to whether, in assuming flesh, our Lord assumed the flesh of fallen or of unfallen man. The right answer, beyond doubt, is that he assumed the flesh of unfallen man: it is not for nothing that Paul tells us that he came, not in sinful flesh, but in “the likeness of sinful flesh” (Rom. viii. 3). But this does not mean that the flesh he assumed was not under a curse: it means that the curse under which his flesh rested was not the curse of Adam’s first sin but the curse of the sins of his people: “him who knew no sin, he made sin in our behalf”; he who was not, even as man, under a curse, “became a curse for us.” He was accursed, not because he became man, but because he bore the sins of his people; he suffered and died not because of the flesh he took but because of the sins he took. He was, no doubt, born of a woman, born under the law (Gal. iv. 4), in one concrete act; he issued from the Virgin’s womb already our sin-bearer. But he was not sin-bearer because made of a woman; he was made of a woman that he might become sin-bearer; it was because of the suffering of death that he was made a little lower than the angels (Heb. ii. 9). It is germane to our inquiry, therefore, to take note of the fact that among the emotions which are attested as having found place in our Lord’s life-experiences, there are those which belong to him not as man but as sin-bearer, which never would have invaded his soul in the purity of his humanity save as he stood under the curse incurred for his people’s sins. The whole series of his emotions are, no doubt, affected by his position under the curse. Even his compassion receives from this a special quality: is this not included in the great declaration of Heb. iv. 15? Can we doubt that his anger against the powers of evil which afflict man, borrowed particular force from his own experience of their baneful working? And the sorrows and dreads which constricted his heart in the prospect of death, culminating in the extreme anguish of the dereliction, — do not these constitute the very substance of his atoning sufferings? As we survey the emotional life of our Lord as depicted by the Evangelists, therefore, let us not permit it to slip out of sight, that we are not only observing the proofs of the truth of his humanity, and not merely regarding the most perfect example of a human life which is afforded by history, but are contemplating the atoning work of the Saviour in its fundamental elements. The cup which he drank to its bitter dregs was not his cup but our cup; and he needed to drink it only because he was set upon our salvation.
- “Certainly,” remarks Calvin (Commentarius in Harmoniam Evangelicarum, Mt. xxvi. 37), “those who imagine that the Son of God was exempt from human passions, do not truly and seriously acknowledge him to be a man.” “But Christ having a human nature the same for substance that ours is, consisting both of soul and body,” argues Thomas Goodwin (Works, Edinburgh ed., 1862, iv. p. 140), “therefore he must needs have affections, — even affections proper to man’s nature and truly human. And these he should have had, although this human nature had, from the very first assumption of it, been as glorious as it now is in heaven.” “In what sense the soul is capable of suffering,” says John Pearson (An Exposition of the Creed, New York ed., 1843, p. 288), “in that he was subject to animal passion. Evil apprehended to come tormented his soul with fear, which was as truly in him in respect of what he was to suffer, as hope in reference to the recompense of a reward to come after and from his sufferings.”
- There is some exaggeration in the remark: “The notices in the Gospels of the impressions made on his feelings by different situations in which he was placed, are extraordinarily numerous” (James Stalker, Imago Christi, 1890, p. 302). The Gospel narratives are very objective, and it is only occasionally (most frequently in Mark) that they expressly notify the subjective movements of the actors in the drama which they unfold.
- Direct mention of our Lord’s human ‘soul,’ under that term (psucha) ), is not frequent in the Gospels: cf. Swete on Mk. xiv. 34, “Though the Gospels yield abundant evidence of the presence of human emotions in our Lord, (e. g. iii. 5, vi. 6, x. 14, Jno. vi. 33), this direct mention of his ‘soul’ has no parallel in them if we except Jno. vii. 27; for in such passages as x. 45, Jno. x. 11 psucha is the individual life (see Cremer s. v.) rather than the seat of the emotions.” J. A. Alexander on Mk. xiv. 34 remarks that “my soul” there “is not a mere periphrasis for the pronoun, (I), but refers his strange sensations more directly to the inward seat of feeling and emotion.” Cf., however, the Greek text of Ps. xlii. 6, 12, xlv. 5; but also Winer, Grammar, etc., Thayer’s tr., 1872, p. 156. The term pneuma occurs rather more frequently than psucha, to designate the seat of our Lord’s emotions: Mk. viii. 12; Jno. xi. 33, xiii. 21; cf. Mk. ii. 8; Mt. xxvii. 50; Jno. xix. 30.
- Such an attempt as that made by W. B. Smith (Ecce Deus, 1911, p. 101), to explain away the implication of our Lord’s humanity in the earliest Gospel transmission, is, of course, only a “curiosity of literature.” “Mark,” says he, “nowhere uses of Jesus an expression which suggests an impressive or even amiable human personality; or, indeed, any kind of human personality whatever.” What Mark says of Jesus, is what is commonly said of God — of Jehovah. The seeming exceptions are merely specious. He ascribes “compassion” to Jesus: it is the very core of the oriental conception of God that he is merciful. He speaks of Jesus “rebuking” (epitimao) or “snorting at” (embrimaomai) men: these are expressions suitable to God and employed in the Old Testament of Jehovah. He tells us that Jesus “loved” the rich young man — the only ascription of love to Jesus, by the way, in the Synoptics: but the rich young man is just a symbol, the symbol of Israel, whom Jehovah loves. And so on.
- Mt. xx. 34; Mk. i. 41; Lk. vii. 13; Mt. ix. 38, xiv. 14, xv. 82; Mk. vi. 34, viii. 2. Cf. Mk. ix. 22. Not at all in John.
- Splagchalzomai: see Bleek, An Introduction to the New Testament, §33, (vol. i, p. 75); J. A. Alexander on Mk. i. 41; Plummer on Mt. ix. 38. Buttig’s monograph, De Emphasi splagchalzomai, we have not seen.
- So Lightfoot, on Phil. i. 8.
- It is found in the LXX in this metaphorical sense apparently only at Prov. xvii. 5. Cf. Swete on Mk. i. 41.
- Oikteiro, which does not occur in the Synoptic Gospels, and indeed only once (Rom. ix. 15) in the N. T. The adjective, oiktirmon occurs at Lk. ix. 38 (also Jas. v. 11 only in N. T.); the noun oiktirmos, occurs in Paul (Rom. xii. 1; 2 Cor. i. 3; Phil. ii. 1; Col. iii. 12; also Heb. x. 28 only).
- A. V. Mk. i. 41, vi. 34; Mt. ix. 38, xiv. 14; R. V. Mk. i. 41; Mt. ix. 36, xx. 34.
- ’Eleeo (sometimes, eleao), Mt. ix. 27, xv. 22, xvii. 15, xx. 30-31; Mk. x. 47-48; Lk. xvii. 13, xviii. 38-39; cf. Mk. v. 19; Mt. xviii. 33. This word also is not found in John. In Mk. ix. 22 only is splagchnizomai used in an appeal, and even there its more subjective sense is apparent. On eleos and its synonymy see J. H. Heinrich Schmidt, Synonymik der grieschischen Sprache iii., 1879, § 143, pp. 572sq.; and the excellent summary statement by Thayer in Thayer-Grimm, Lexicon etc., sub voc. eleeo. G. Heine, Synonymik des N. T: -lichen Griechisch, 898, p. 82, states it thus: “eleos is the inclination to succor the miserable, OIKr&p uSs the feeling of pain arising from the miseries of others .. . oiktirmos is the feeling of sympathy dwelling in the heart; eleos is sympathy expressing itself in act.” splagchnizomai is a term of feeling, taking the place of oiktiro.
- W. Lutgert, Die Liebe im Neuen Testament, 1905, thinks it important to lay stress on this side of our Lord’s love. “In the Synoptic portrait of Christ the trait which stands out most clearly is the love of Jesus. He not only commanded love, but first himself practiced it. It is not merely his thought but his will, and not merely his will but above all his deed. He therefore not only required it but aroused it. It expresses itself accordingly not merely in his word, but in the first instance in his act. Jesus’ significance to the Synoptists does not consist in his having discovered the command of love, but in his having fulfilled it. For them Jesus is not a ‘sage’ who teaches old truths or new, but a doer, who brings the truth true, that is, acts it out” (p. 53). “His love never remains a powerless wish, that is, an unsuccessful willing, but it always succeeds. The working of Jesus is described in the Gospels as almighty love” (p. 54). “Since his acts are really love, they have primarily no other purpose but to help. Their motive is nothing but the compassion of Jesus” (p. 58). Accordingly, Lutgert insists, no cry to Jesus for help was ever made in vain: “Jesus acts precisely according to his own command, Give to him that asketh thee” (p. 55).
- Render, not “he had,” but “he felt compassion,” to bring out the emphasis on the “feeling.”
- J. A. Alexander’s note (on Mk. vi. 34, repeated verbally at Mt. ix. 36 and xiv. 14) is therefore too exclusive: “What excited his divine and human sympathy was not, of course, their numbers or their physical condition, but their spiritual destitution.” It was both. Cf. Liitgert, as above, p. 68: “It is a characteristic trait of Jesus that he feels pity not merely for the religious, but also for the external, need of the people and that he acts out of this pity. The perfection of his love stands precisely in this — that it is independent of gratitude. He helps to help.”
- Cf. Plummer in loc.: “A strong word (eskulmenoi) is used to expresss their distress. . . . Originally it meant ‘flayed’ or ‘mangled,’ but became equivalent to ‘harassed’ or ‘vexed’ with weariness or worry. . . . ‘Scattered’ seems to suit shepherdless sheep, but it may be doubted if this is the exact meaning of eppimenoi. . . . ‘Prostrated’ seems to be the meaning here.”
- According to some commentators, sullupoumenos at Mk. iii. 5 expresses sympathetic compassion (so e. g. Meyer, Weiss, Morrison, J. B. Bristow, art. “Pity” in DCG); see note 38. Some commentators also read agathos, Mk. x. 18, of ‘benevolence’; cf. kalos, Jno. x. 11, 14.
- Cf. James Stalker, Imago Christi, 1890, p. 303. “He not only gave the required help in such cases, but gave it with an amount of sympathy which doubled its value. Thus, he not only raised Lazarus, but wept with his sisters. In curing a man who was deaf, he sighed as he said ‘Ephphatha.’ All his healing work cost him feeling.”
- Dakruo, silent weeping: see Schmidt, Synonymik der griechischen Sprache, I. 1876, § 26, p. 470sq.
- Klaio, audible wailing: see Schmidt, as above. Cf. Hahn in loc.: “eklausen of the loud and violent wailing called out by an inner feeling of pain. . . . The contrast should be observed between the joyful outcry of his disciples, and the inner feeling of Jesus whose spirit saw the true situation of things, undeceived by appearances.”
- Stenazo, “pitying as I think,” comments Fritzsche, “the calamities of the human race” and so Euth. Zig., Grotius, Meyer. On the other hand, DeWette, Weiss, Lagrange think the sigh, a sigh not of sympathy but of prayer (Rom. viii. 23, 26).
- ’Anastenazo, intensive form, here only in the N. T., but found in LXX. “The Lord’s human spirit,” comments Swete, “was stirred to its depths.”
- “In both cases,” Swete (on Mk. vii. 34) suggests, “perhaps the vast difficulty and long delays of the remedial work were borne in upon our Lord’s human spirit in an especial manner.”
- ’Agapase, On the words for “love” see Schmidt, Synonymik, etc. III. 1879; § 136, pp. 474sq; agapao, pp. 482sq.
- Morrison in loc. Cf. Liitgert, as cited, p. 59: “According to the Gospels, therefore, Jesus loves the needy. When Wemle maintains that the Evangelists have shown us a Christ who leads his life ‘in joy over nature and good men’ (p. 83), this conception of Christ contradicts the earnestness of the Gospels through and through: it is precisely the characteristic of the Gospels that the motive of Jesus’ love according to them, so far as it lies in men, is in the first instance negative. The people called out his compassion (Mt. ix. 36). Jesus’ love does not have the character of admiration, but simply of compassion. It is not delight, but deed, gift, help. It required therefore a needy recipient.
But the love of Jesus to the people has also a positive motive, which is, however, nowhere expressed, — that is, pleasure in their good.” Cf. what Liitgert says, pp. 92sq., of the coexistence with Jesus’ love of hate, directed to all that is evil in men.
- The negative side of the exposition is stated very well by Wohlenberg in loc.: “It would contradict fundamental elements of Jesus’ preaching if those were right who hold that Jesus was inwardly of the young man’s mind, and, looking upon him, conceived an affection for him, precisely because he had already made so much progress in keeping the divine commandments, and showed himself burning with enthusiasm for undertaking more. And how would this harmonize with what is afterwards said in verses 23 and 24sq.” . . . The positive side is given excellently by J. A. Alexander in loc.: “Most probably, love, as in many other places, here denotes not moral approbation, nor affection founded upon anything belonging to the object, but a sovereign and gratuitous compassion, such as leads to every act of mercy on God’s part (compare Jno. iii. 18; Gal. ii. 20; Eph. ii. 4; 1 Jno. iv. 10, 19). The sense will then be, not that Jesus loved him on account of what he said, or what he was, or what he did, but that, having purposes of mercy towards him, he proceeded to unmask him to himself, and to show him how entirely groundless, although probably sincere, was his claim to have habitually kept the law. The Saviour’s love is then mentioned, not as the effect of what precedes, but as the ground or motive of what follows.”
- For the construction, see Westcott in loc. The term is, of course, agapao.
- The term is agapa — although its correlative is oi philoi.
- Cf. Meyer in loc.: “The agapa ha ema is not love to me, but: my love to you, as is clear from agapasa humas and from the analogy of ha chara ha ema verse 11, cf. verses 12, 13.” This instance carries the others with it. Westcott, if we understand him, wishes to take this phrase undifferentiatedly as including both the subjective and objective senses: “The meaning of the words cannot be limited to the idea of Christ’s love for men, or to that of man’s love for Christ: they describe the absolute love which is manifested in these two ways, the love which perfectly corresponds with Christ’s being.” “His love,” he apparently takes objectively, of love to God.
- Westcott: “to the uttermost”: so Godet, etc. Lutgert, as cited, p. 154 note: “eis telos means, not ‘until the end’ but ‘to the utmost,’ absolutely; cf. I Thess. ii. 16; Lk. xviii. 5, and besides the parallels from Hennas adduced by Jiilicher, Gleichnisreden Jesu, II. p. 282, also Barnabas iv. 6, eis telos apoleson autan and xix. 11, eis telos misaseis ton ponaron. Therefore John too has the conception of complete, purified love.” In the text he had written: “The word xiii. 1 is a parallel to xii. 28. According to the one word the life of Jesus hitherto is described as a glorification of God, according to the other as love to his people. The love which he practiced in his death, the Apostle places by the side of the love which he had hitherto practiced: on the other hand it is distinguished from his love hitherto as an especial, new manifestation of love. By the love which he practiced in his death, he loved them to the uttermost. Now his love is become an absolute, purified love, for his love first becomes absolute when he gives his soul. The death of Jesus serves therefore for John not only as the last and highest proof of his love, but as its perfecting.”
- ’Agapao: xi. 5, xiii. 23, xix. 26, xxi. 7, 20. Cf. Mk. x. 21.
- Phileo: xi. 3, 36, xx. 2.
- Jno. xx. 2, not “the disciple whom Jesus loved,” but “the other disciple whom Jesus loved.” Jesus loved both Peter and John. Cf. Westcott in loc. Hence Westcott says (on xiii. 23) that the phrase “the disciple whom Jesus loved,” “marks an acknowledgment of love and not an exclusive enjoyment of love.”
- ’Agapao: xiii. 23, xix. 26, xxi. 7, 20; phileo: lat. 2.
- Cf. Meyer on Jno. xi. 5: “agapa: an expression chosen with delicate tenderness (the more sensuous philein is not again used as in verse 4), because the sisters are mentioned”: and Westcott: “The Evangelist describes the Lord’s affection for this family as that of moral choice (agapa. .).”
- Cf. Mt. xi. 19, Lk. vii. 34 (xii. 4), Jno. xi. 11 (xv. 14, 15).
- The preposition in the participle sullupoumenos merely emphasizes the inwardness of the emotion (Thayer-Grimm, Lexicon, etc. sub voc. suv, ii. 4). Cf. Fritsche in loc.: “Beza and Rosenmiiller have properly seen that the preposition suv is not without force. But their interpretation: ‘when he had looked indignantly about him at the same time grieving, etc.’ would require ama lupouµevos and does not render the force of sullupouµevo,. We have no doubt, therefore, that the preposition suv, should be referred to the mind of Jesus, i. e., ‘when he had looked about him with anger, grieving in his mind . . . he said’”
- “It is” says James Denney (DCG., I. p. 60) justly, “the vehement repulsion of that which hurts,”
- See Schmidt, Synonymik etc. II, 1878, § 83. 14, 588 sq. Trench, Synonyms of the New Testament7 1871, p. 224: “This lupa, unlike the grief which the three following words [pentheo, phraneo, kopto] express, a man may so entertain in the deep of his heart, that there shall be no outward manifestation of it, unless he himself be pleased to reveal it ( Rom. is. 2) .”
- See Schmidt, as above III, 1879, § 142: orga is “wrath (Zorn) as it is directed to punishment or vengeance” (p. 512) ; “orga stands in closer relation to the vengeance which is to be inflicted than thumos” (p. 553); “it accordingly can be nothing else than the violently outbreaking natural impulse, uncontrolled by the reason, which we call by the word ‘wrath’ (Zorn) ; and the idea that such an impulse seeks its end, and therefore the thought of vengeance or punishment which this impulse seeks to wreak on the guilty one, lies close” (p. 555). Cf. Trench, p. 124. Lutgert, as cited, pp. 98, 99, is careful to point out that Jesus’ anger is never personal, and never passes into revengeful feelings on his own behalf.
- Cf. “the wrath of the Lamb” Rev. vi. 18. Thomas Goodwin (Works, IV. p. 144) wishes us to understand that when such emotional movements are attributed to the Exalted Christ, they have their full quality as human emotions, affecting the whole Christ body as well as spirit. “Therefore, when as we read of the ‘wrath of the Lamb,’ as Rev. vi. 18, namely, against his enemies, as her of his pity and compassion towards his friends and members, why should this be attributed only to his deity, which is not capable of wrath, or to his soul and spirit only? And why may it not be thought he is truly angry as a man, in the whole man, and so with such a wrath as his body is afflicted with, as well as that he is wrathful in his soul only, seeing he hath taken up our whole nature, on purpose to subserve his divine nature in all the executions of it?”
- ’Aganakteo: see Schmidt, Synonymik etc. III, 1879, pp. 360-562: ’Aganaktein and aganaktasis designate, to wit, the displeasure (Unwillen) which we feel at an act in which we see a wrong (Unrecht) or which outrages our human sentiment and feeling” (p. 561). “Jesus” comments Lagrange in loc. “was irritated by their hardness.”
- Swete in loc.: “We hear the Lord’s indignant call, as it startles the disciples in the act of dismissing the party.”
- ’Embrimaomai: see especially the detailed discussion of this word by Fr. Cumlich in the Theologische Studien und Kritiken, 1862, pp. 260-269. “It is, now, exegetically certain that Jesus here (Jno. xi. 33) was angry. Only this, open and vehement anger, and no other meaning belongs philologically to eubrimasthai” (p. 260, opening the discussion). “From what has been said, it is sufficiently clear that, 1) bremo, just like fremo always expresses, transferred to man, nothing but the active affection of anger, never ‘a general [mental movement],’ least of all ‘sorrow; 2) that moreover brima, and its frequentatively heightened and yet at the same time interiorizing (en) intensive embrimasthai, expresses only a strong, or the strongest degree of wrath, which, precisely on account of this strength being incapable of being held in, breaks out externally, but still gives vent to itself rather in uncontrollable sound than word” (pp. 265-6, closing the discussion). Cf. p. 209: “Embrimasthai designates primarily a single emotion, and this one is a vehement ebullition of his anger, a real infremere.” Cf. Meyer on Jno. xi. 33: “The words brimaomai and embrimaomai are never used otherwise than of hot anger in the Classics, the Septuagint, and the New Testament (Mt. ix. 30; Mk. i. 43, xiv. 5 ), save when they denote snorting or growling proper (Aeschyl, Sept. 461, Lucean, Necyom. 20.”
- Fuller (Webster), about 1801, cited in The Oxford Dictionary of the English Language, I. 951, where other citations also are given.
- Certain late grammarians (see Stephens’ Thesaurus sub voc. embrimasthai and brimoomai) define brimosmai “to threaten”; and some of the lexicographers do the like: Hesychius for example defines brima as “threat,” and Suidu embrimasthai itself as “to speak with anger and to blame with harshness,” the latter part of which is repeated in the Etym. Mag. A scholiast on Aristophansa, Eq. 855 defines brimasthai as “to be angry and to threaten.”
- Mt. viii. 4, ix. 30, xviii. 10, xxiv. 6; Mk. i. 44; I Thess. v. 15; Rev. xix. 10, xxii. 9 only.
- So that Zahn (on Mt. ix. 30, p. 385) is misled into explaining: “He admonished them in a menacing tone.” Something more than this is said.
- Meyer on Mk. i. 43 quite accurately connects the embrimasamenos auto with exebalen only, translating: “after he had been angry at him,” though he supposes the exebalen to have been accompanied by “a vehement begone now! away hence!” and accordingly arbitrarily paraphrases the embrimansamenos “wrathfully addressed him.” On Mt. ix. 30 he accurately translates: “He was displeased with them, and said.”
- J. A. Alexander, in Mt. ix. 30, puts this view in its most attractive form: “It can only mean a threatening in case of disobedience, charging them on pain of his serious displeasure and disapprobation.” It comes to the same thing when Westcott (on Jno. xi. 33) says: “There is the notion of coercion springing out of displeasure.” Cf. Morrison: “Peremptorily charged them” (Mk. i. 43) ; Zahn: “He enjoined them in a menacing tone” (Mt. ix. 30). Others, of course, transfer the matter from Christ to the Evangelists; thus even Weiss can write (on Mt. ix. 39) : “Perhaps the Evangelist is thinking with respect to this ebullition of the resultlessness of such prohibitions, which is so strongly emphasized by Mark (cf. vii. 36).”
- Three or four such comments on Mk. i. 43 as the following, when read consecutively, are instructive. Weiss: “But obviously Mark thinks of the healing as taking place in a house (exebalen), perhaps, according to the connection with verse 39, in a synagogue. Entrance into the house of another was, no doubt, forbidden to lepers, according to Lev. xiii. 48 cf. Num. v. 2 (see Ewald on the passages, and Alterth. p. 180), but not altogether access to the synagogues: in any case the resort of the people to Jesus and his healing of the sick broke through the restrictions of the law, and from this also is explicable Jesus’ demeanor of haste and vehemence.” Wohlenberg: “After or with the manifestation of vehement anger, Jesus sends the man forthwith away (exebalen) from his presence . . . and nothing indicates that Mark conceived the occurrence to have taken place in a house. An intensely angry emotion was exhibited by Jesus towards the healed man, because he observed in him a false and perverse idea of the transaction.” Keil: “The occasion, however, of the angry expulsion of the healed man, we certainly are not to seek in the leper’s breach of the law through entering the house of another (Lev. 46 cf., Num. v. 2) but chiefly in his state of mind” . . . Edersheim (Life and Times, etc., I. 496) : “This [‘cast him out’], however, as Godet has shown (Comm. on St. Luke, German trans. p. 137), does not imply that the event took place either in a house or in a town, as most commentators suppose. It is, to say the least, strange that the Speaker’s Commentary, following Weiss, should have located it in a synagogue’ It could not possibly have occurred there, unless all Jewish ordinances and customs had been reversed.”
- As e.g. Lagrange on Mk. i. 43: “’Embrimaomai: (again xiv. 5; Mt. ix. 30; Jno. xi. 33, 38) cannot mean anger here, but only a certain severity. Jesus speaks in a tone which does not admit of reply.”
- Zahn on Mt. ix. 30 (p. 385) reminds us that the word suggests “the audible expression of wrath.” Cf. Mk. xiv. 4-5 where we are told that “there were some that had indignation (aganaktountes), among themselves — and they murmured (enebrimonto) against her.” The inward emotion is expressed by aganakteo, its manifestation in audible form by embrimaomai.
- See above, note 19; and cf. Gumlich, TSK, 1882, p. 258.
- ’Aganakteo: see above, notes 41 and 52.
- Dakruo (not klaio as in verse 33): see above, note 18.
- See above: note 43.
- So Hengstenberg, in particular, and many after him.
- John Hutchison, The Monthly Interpreter, 1885, II. p. 288: “A storm of wrath was seen to sweep over him.”
- Kai etaraxen eauton. Many commentators insist on the voluntariness of Jesus’ emotion, expressed by this phrase. Thus John Hutchison, as above, p. 288: “It was an act of his own free will, not a passion hurrying him on, but a voluntarily assumed state of feeling which remained under his direction and control. . . . In a word there was no ataxia in it.” For the necessary limitations of this view see Calvin on this passage. Cf. Lutgert as cited, p. 145.
- Cf. John Hutchison, as above, p. 375: “He was gazing into ‘the skeleton face of the world,’ and tracing everywhere the reign of death. The whole earth to him was but ‘the valley of the shadow of death,’ and in these tears which were shed in his presence, he saw that
‘Ocean of Time, whose waters of deep woe,
Are brackish with the salt of human tears.’”
- The classical exposition of the whole passage is F. Gumlich’s, Die Rathsel der Erweckung Lazari, in the Theologische Studien und Knitlken, 1882, pp. 65-110, and 248-336. See also john Hutchison, in The Monthly Interpreter, 1885, II. pp. 281-296 and 374-386.
- ’Epitimao: See Schmidt, Synonymik etc. I. 1876, § 4, 11, p. 147: “epitman is properly to impute something to one (as a fault) . . . And indeed it denotes harsh and in general vehement reproaches with reference to unworthy deeds or customs, construed ordinarily with the dative of the person: to condemn with harsh words, to heap reproaches on.” Cf. also Trench, § 4 (p. 12).
- Swete, on Mk. i. 25: “epitiman, Vg. comminari, Wycliffe and Rheims ‘threaten,’ other English Versions, ‘rebuke’: the strict meaning of the word is ‘to mete-out due measure,’ but in the N. T. it is used only of censure.” Plummer on Lk. iv. 35: “In N. T. epitimrao has no other meaning than ‘rebuke’; but in classical Greek it means — 1. ‘lay a value on, rate’; 2. ‘lay a penalty on, sentence’; 3. ‘chide, rate, rebuke.’” “The verb is often used of rebuking violence (verse 41, viii. 24, ix. 42; Mt. viii. 26, xviii. 18; Mk. iv. 39; Jud. ix); yet must not on that account be rendered ‘restrain’ (Fritzsche on Mt. viii. 26, 325).” Morrison accordingly thinks that “rated” might give the essential meaning of the word. Lagrange (on Mk. i. 28) unduly weakens the term.
- Morrison on Mk. ill. 12.
- Hahn on Lk. iv. 35: “epitimasen auto, that is, he vehemently commanded him, charged him with strong, chiding words (cf. verses 39, 41, viii. 24, ix. 21, 42, 55), an expression by which Luke would say that Jesus spoke the following words in a tone of highest displeasure”: cf. on verse 39.
- Cf. Gumlich, TSK, 1862 p. 287: “Similar movements of anger, epitiman instead of embrimasthai directly before or after a miracle, we find also elsewhere in him: threats (Bedrohen) to the wind and the sea (Mt. viii. 26), most frequently in the case of healings of possessed people of a difficult kind (Mt. viii. 28, vii. 18; Mk. ix. 21, i. 25, iii. 12; Lk. iv. 41).”
- In Mk. viii. 33; Lk. ix. 55 the objects of his displeasure were his followers.
- Cf. Zahn, Das Evangelium des Johannes, 1908, p. 480, note 82: “Since Jesus, without prejudice to his faith in the all-embracing providence and universal government of God, looked upon all disease, and not merely possession, as the work of Satan (Lk. xiii. 16, x. 19, cf. Acts xvi 38; II Cor. xii. 7), and held him to be the author not only of isolated miseries, but of the death of man in general (Jno. viii. 44) ; Heb. ii. 14 does not go beyond Jesus’ circle of ideas.” — Also Henry Norris Bernard, The Mental Characteristics of the Lord Jesus Christ, 1888, pp. 90-91: “The miracles of Christ formed part of that warfare which was ever waging between the Son of God and the power of evil which he was manifested to destroy. The rage of the elements, the roaring wind, and the surging waves ever seeking to engulf the fishers’ boat: the fell sickness racking with pain man’s body; the paralysis of the mental powers destroying man’s intellect, and leaving him a prey to unreasoning violence, or to unclean desires; the death which shrouded him in the unknown darkness of the tomb— these things were to the Saviour’s vision but objective forms of the curse of sin which it was his mission to remove. The Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Satan were brought together in opposition. The battle between the Lord’s Christ and the great adversary was ever going on. Man’s infirmities and his sicknesses, in the eyes of Christ, were the outward symbol of the sin which was their cause. So the inspired writer, in the healing of the sick, and in the casting out of devils, sees direct blows given, which, in the end, shall cause Satan’s empire to totter to its fall. Every leper cleansed, every blind man restored to sight, every helpless paralytic made to walk, every distracted man brought back to the sweetness of life and light of reason, above all the dead recalled to life — each, in the salvation accorded them, furnished a proof that a greater than Satan was here, and that the Kingdom of God was being manifested upon earth.”
- Cf. Swete in loc.; also Lagrange: “polla, taken adverbially, does not mean in Mk. ‘often,’ nor even ‘in a prolonged fashion,’ but ‘earnestly; ‘strongly; ‘greatly’ (except perhaps in i. 45) ; cf. v. 10, 23, 43, vi. 20, ix. 26; the Vulgate has, therefore, well rendered it vehementer (here and xvi. 43).”
- Westcott in loc.
- Zahn in loc.: p. 168.
- Meyer in loc.: “In this wrathful zeal which they saw had taken bold of Jesus, they thought they saw the Messianic fulfilment of that word of the psalm. . . .
- Delitzsch in loc.
- Cf. James Denney, article “Anger,” and E. Daplyn, article “Fierceness,” in Hastings’ DCG. Also Lutgert, as cited, p. 97 where instances of our Lord’s expressions of anger, “which occupy a large place in the Synoptics” are gathered together, and p. 99 where it is pointed out that “Jesus grounds his declarations of woe, not on what his opponents had done to him, but purely on their sins against the law and the prophets . . . Jesus’ anger remains therefore pure because it bums against what is done against God, and not against what has happened to himself.”
- Chapter xxi. “The Law of Resentment.”
- So e.g. Cheyne, G. A. Smith, Skinner, Workman.
- ’Agalliaomai&: see G. Heine, Synonymik des N.T.-lichen Griechisch 1898, p. 147: “chairo in general, gaudeo, laetor (chara), agalliao, -omai exsulto, vehementer gaudeo, Mt. v. 12; Lk. x. 21 (agalliasis) Lk. i. 14, 44, summum gaudium (frequently in LXX; not classical.” There is a good brief account of the word given by C. F. Gelpe, in the Theologische Studien und Kritlken, 1849, pp. 645-646: “the profoundest and highest transport.” Cf. Codet in loc. “’Agalliasthai, to exult, denotes an inner transport, which takes place in the same deep regions of the soul of Jesus as the opposite emotion expressed by the embrimtsthai, to groan (Jno. ix. 33 ). This powerful influence of external events on the inner being of Jesus proves how thoroughly in earnest the Gospels take his humanity.”
- Plummer in loc.: “This joy is a divine inspiration. The fact is analogous to his being ‘led by the Spirit in the wilderness,’ (iv. 1).”
- The Whole Works of Jeremy Taylor. Ed. Heber, London 1828. II. p. lxvii. Jeremy Taylor’s object is to show that Christ is not imitable by us in everything; hence he proceeds at once: “But the declensions of our natures cannot bear the weight of a perpetual grave deportment, without the intervals of refreshment and free alacrity.” This whole view of our Lord’s deportment lacks justification: but it has been widely held from the earliest times. Basil the Great, for instance, in condemning immoderate mirth, appeals to our Lord’s example, — although he accounts for his deportment on a theory which bears traces of the “apathetic” ideal of virtue so wide-spread in his day. “And the Lord appears to have sustained” says he (Regulae fusius Tractatae. 17: Migne, PG. xxxi. p. 961), “the passions which are necessary to the flesh and whatever of them bear testimony to virtue, such as weariness, and pity to the afflicted: but never to have used laughter, so far as may be learned from the narrative of the Evangelists, but to have pronounced a woe upon those who are held by it (Lk. vi. 25).” Chrysostom (Hom. vi in Matth.: Migne, PG. lvii. p. 69) in commending a grave life by the example of Christ, exaggerates the matter: “If thou also weep thus, thou hast become an imitator of thy Lord. For he also himself. wept, both over Lazarus and over the city; and touching Judas he was greatly troubled. And this, indeed, he is often to be seen doing, but never laughing (gelonta), and not even smiling even a little; at least no one of the Evangelists has mentioned it.”
- Vie de Jesus, ch. xi. ad fin.; ed. 2. 1863, pp. 188-194.
- Cf. the article “Foresight” in Hastings’ DCG. See for example, A. Julicher, Die Gleichnisreden Jesu. I. p. 144; Paul Wernle, Die Anfange unserer Religion, p. 65: “There was a time in Jesus’ life, when a wholly extraordinary hope filled his soul. . . . Then, Jesus knew himself to be in harmony with all the good forces of his people . . . that was the happiest time of his life. . . . We only need to ask whether Jesus retained this enthusiastic faith to the end. To that period of joyful hope there succeeded a deep depression.”
- ’Ayalliaomai; see note 77 above.
- Chara: consult also the use in parables of both chara, Mt. xxv. 21, 23; Lk, xv. 10, and chairo, Mt. xviii. 13; Lk. xv. 5, 32.
- A. B. Bruce, The Humiliation of Christ,2 1881, p. 334: “Hence, though a man of sorrow, he was even on earth anointed with the oil of gladness above his fellows. . . . Shall we wonder that there was divine gladness in the heart of him who came into the world, not by constraint, but willingly; not with a burning sense of wrong, but with a grateful sense of high privilege; and that he had a blessed consciousness of fellowship with his Father who sent him, during the whole of his pilgrimage through this vale of tears?” A. E. Garvie, Studies in the Inner Life of Jesus, 1907, p. 318: “Although in his emotions, varying notes of joy or grief were struck by the changeful experiences of his life among men, yet the undertone was the sense of a great good to be gained by the endurance of a great sorrow.” G. Matheson, Studies in the Portrait of Christ,10 1909, I. pp. 274 sq.: “We speak of the ‘Man of Sorrows,’ yet I think the deepest note in the soul of Jesus was not sorrow but joy.” C. W. Emmet, DCG. ii. p. 607 b: Christ “is the Man of Sorrows, yet we cannot think of him for a moment as an unhappy man. He rather gives us the picture of serene and unclouded happiness. Beneath not merely the outward suffering, but the profound sorrow of heart, there is deeper still a continual joy, derived from the realized presence of his Father and the consciousness that he is doing his work. Unless this is remembered, the idea of the Man of Sorrows is sentimentalized and exaggerated.” F. W. Farrar, The Life of Christ, 1874, i. p. 318; ii. p. 103.
- Hahn in loc.: “We see from this verse that Jesus had a distinct foreknowledge of his passion, as indeed he bears witness already in ix. 22, 44. There meets us here, however, the first intimation that he looked forward to it with inner dread (Angst), though there are repeated testimonies to this later (Cf. xxii. 42; Jno. xii. 2; Mt. xxvi. 37).” Cf. Mt. xx. 22: “Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink?”; Mk. x. 38: “Are you able to drink the cup that I drink? or to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?”
- Cf. Meyer on Mk. x. 38: “The cup and baptism of Jesus represent martyrdom. In the case of the figure of baptism . . . the point of the similitude lies in the being submerged . . . Cf. the classical use of kataduein and, baptizein, to plunge (immerge) into sufferings, sorrows, and the like.”
- Sunecho: see G. Heine, Synonymik etc., 1898. p. 149: “sunechomai, affligor, laboro.” Cf. Plummer in loc.: “How am I oppressed, afflicted, until it be accomplished! Comp. viii. 37; Jno. v. 24. The prospect of his sufferings was a perpetual Gethsemane: cf. Jno. xii. 27.” Weiss in loc.: “And how I am afflicted (bedrangt) until it be accomplished! Expression of human anxiety in prospect of the sufferings which were to come, as in Gethsemane and Jno. xii. 27.”
- The heos hotou emphasizes the whole intervening time: “I am straitened through all the time up to its accomplishment.”
- Zahn in loc., (p. 509) : “The essential content of this incident, narrated by John alone, is the same that the Synoptics record in the prayer-conflict in Gethsemane, which John passes over in silence when his narrative brings him to Gethsemane (xviii. 1-11).”
- See note 3.
- This prayer is frequently taken as a continuation of the question. So, e. g. Zahn. (p. 507): “to the question ti eipo, the words which follow: pater, swson me ek tas hopas tautas cannot bring the response; for the prayer is at once corrected and withdrawn (alla ktl), and replaced by an absolutely different one (verse 28). The first prayer shares therefore in the interrogatory inflection of ti eipo and is to be filled out by an ara (or n) eipo derived thence, with the new question, ‘Am I to say, perhaps: Father save me from this hour?’ “ Against this, however, Westcott forcibly urges “that it does not fall in with the parallel clause, which follows: ‘Father glorify Thy Name’; nor with the intensity of the passage, nor yet with the kindred passages in the Synoptics (Mt. xxvi. 39 and parallels).”
- Zahn (p. 509) : “Into the world of Jesus’ conceptions the possibility of going another way than that indicated by God could intrude; that was his temptation; but his will repelled it.”
- Tarasso: see Schmidt, Synonymik etc., iii. 1879. § 739. 8. p. 518: Heine, Synonymik etc., 1898, p. 149.
- Cf. Calvin Com. in Harm. Evang., on Mt. xxvi. 37: “And whence came to him both sorrow and anxiety and fear, except because he felt in death something sadder and more horrible than the separation of the soul and body? And certainly he underwent death, not merely that he might move from earth to heaven, but rather that he might take on himself the curse to which we were liable, and deliver us from it. His horror was not, then, at death simpliciter, as a passage out of the world, but because he had before his eyes the dreadful tribunal of God, and the Judge Himself armed with inconceivable vengeance; it was our sins, the burden of which he had assumed, that pressed him down with their enormous mass. It is, then, not at all strange if the dreadful abyss of destruction tormented him grievously with fear and anguish.”
- Thus Mrs. Humphrey Ward reports a conversation with Mr. Gladstone (“Notes of Conversation with Mr. Gladstone,” appended to the second volume of Robert Elsmere, Westmoreland ed. 1911): “He said that though he had seen many deaths, he had never seen any really peaceful. In all there had been much struggle. So much so that ‘I myself have conceived what I will not call a terror of death, but a repugnance from the idea of death. It is the rending asunder of body and soul, the tearing apart of the two elements of our nature, — for I hold the body to be an essential element as well as the soul, not a mere sheath or envelope.’”
- lnstitutes. II. xvi. 12: “If anyone now ask, whether Christ was already descending into hell when he prayed to be delivered from death, I reply that this was the exordium, and we may learn from it what diros et horribiles cruciatus he sustained when he was conscious of standing at the tribunal of God, arraigned on our account.” “It is our wisdom,” Calvin remarks in the context, “to have a fit sense of how much our salvation cost the Son of God.” Cf. the discussion in the same spirit of Thomas Goodwin, Works. v. pp. 278-288: “For it is God’s wrath that is hell, as it is his favor that is heaven” (p. 281).
- ’Agonia: see G. Heine, Synonymik etc., 1898, p. 189: “Contest, quaking, agitation (and anxiety of the issue?) Lk. xxii. 44; Luther, ‘he grappled with death,’ Weizsacker, ‘he struggled,’ Bengel; ‘supreme grief and anguish. It properly denotes the anguish and passion of the mind, when it enters upon a conflict and arduous labor, even when there is no doubt of a good issue:” Plummer in loc.: “Field contends that fear is the radical notion of the word. The passages in which it occurs in LXX confirm this view. . . . It is therefore an agony of fear that is apparently to be understood.” It would be better to say consternation, appalled reluctance.
- The discussion of the language employed, by John Pearson, An Exposition of the Creed, (New York, 1843), p. 288, note †, is very penetrating.
- ’Adamoneo: see Heine, Synonymik etc., 1898, p. 148: “pavesco, anger.” Cf. Lightfoot, on Phil. ii. 26: “The primary idea of the word will be loathing and discontent.” “It describes the confused, restless, half-distracted state, which is produced by physical discouragement, or by mental distress, or grief, shame, disappointment, etc.” Lagrange on Mk. xviii. 33: “seized with despondency.” Thomas Goodwin (Works. v. 278): “so that we see Christ’s soul was sick and fainted,” “his heart failed him.”
- Aupeomai: see note 38.
- ’Ekthambeomai: see Hastings’ DCG. i. p. 48, article “Amazement”; G. Heine, Synonymik etc., p. 149: It “is used of those whose minds are horror-struck by the sight or thought of something great or atrocious, not merely because it injects fear, but because the mind scarcely takes in its magnitude.” Weiss in loc.: “ekthambeisthai cannot designate the dread (Angst) but only the horror (Erschrecken) which attacks Jesus at the thought of the sufferings which stand before him.” Thomas Goodwin (Works, v. p. 275): “It signifies ‘to be in horror.”‘
- See note 3.
- Perilupos. J. A. Alexander: “Grieved all round, encompassed, shut in by distress on every side.” Morrison: “The idea is, My soul is sorrowful all round and round.”
- Swete’s “a sorrow which well-nigh kills” is too weak: the meaning is, it is a sorrow that kills. Thomas Goodwin (Works. v. p. 272) distinguishes thus: “A heaviness unto death, not extensive, so as to die, but intensive, that if he had died, he could not have suffered more.”
- On Jno. xii. 27. The evidence derived from the conflict of wills in this prayer that these emotions had their seat in our Lord’s human nature is often adverted to, — e.g. by J. R. Willis, Hasting’s DCG. i. p. 17a: — “The thrice-repeated prayer of Jesus in which he speaks of his own will as distinct from but distinctly subordinate to his Father’s adds to the impression already gained, of the purely human feelings exhibited by him in this struggle.”
- Cf. the description of this “agony” in Heb. v. 7: “Who, in the days of his flesh, having offered up, with strong crying and tears, prayers and supplications unto him that was able to save him from death.”
- Calvin, Commentarius in Harmoniam Evangelicarum, on Mt. xxvii. 46: “And certainly this was his chief conflict, and harder than all his other torments, because he was so far from being supported in his straits by his Father’s help or favor, that he felt himself in some measure estranged. For he did not offer his body only in payment for our reconciliation with God, but in his soul also he bore the punishments due to us; and thus became in very fact the man of sorrows, as Isaiah says (liii. 3). . . . For that Christ should make satisfaction for us, it was necessary that he be sisted as guilty before the tribunal of God. But nothing is more horrible than to incur the judgment of God, whose wrath is worse than all deaths. When, then, there was presented to Christ a kind of temptation as if he were already devoted to destruction, God being his enemy, he was seized with a horror in which a hundred times all the mortals in existence would have been overwhelmed; but he came out of it victor, by the amazing power of the Spirit” . . . Also Institutes II. xvi. 11: “And certainly it is not possible to imagine a more terrible abyss than to feel yourself forsaken and abandoned (derelictum et alienatum) by God, and, when you call upon him, not to be heard as though he had conspired for your destruction. Christ we see to have been so dejected (dejectum) as to be constrained in the urgency of his distress (urgente angusta) to cry out, ‘My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken me?’ “Calvin adds with clear insight that though it is evident that this cry was ex intimi anima angore deductam, yet this does not carry with it the admission that “God was ever either hostile or angry with him.” “For how could he be angry with his beloved son, in whom his soul delighted, or how could Christ appear in his intercession for others before a Father who was incensed with him?” All that is affirmed is that “he sustained the weight of the Divine severity; since, smitten and afflicted by the hand of God, he experienced all the signs of an angry and punishing God.”
- That his death was due to psychical rather than physical causes may be the reason why it took place so soon. Jacobus Baumann in a most distressing book (Die Gemutsart Jesu, 1908, p. 10) appeals to the rapidity with which Jesus succumbed to death as evidence of a certain general lack of healthful vigor which he finds in Jesus: “With this liability to easy exhaustion, his quick death on the cross agrees — a thing which was unusual.”
- Calvin, Institutes ii. xv. 12 does not fail to remind us that even in our Lord’s cry of desolation, he still addresses God as “My God”: “although he suffered agony beyond measure, yet he does not cease to call God his Cod, even when he cries out that he is forsaken by him.” Then at large in the Comm. in Harm. Evang., on Mt. xxvii. 48: “We have already pointed out the difference between natural feeling and the knowledge of faith. There was nothing to prevent Christ from mentally conceiving that God had deserted him, according to the dictation of his natural feeling, and at the same time retaining his faith that Cod was well-disposed to him. And this appears with sufficient clearness from the two clauses of the complaint. For before he gives expression to his trial, he begins by saying that he flees to Cod as his Cod and so he bravely repels by this shield of faith that appearance of dereliction which presented itself in opposition. In short, in this dire anguish his faith was unimpaired, so that in act of deploring that he was forsaken, he still trusted in the present help of God.” Similarly Thomas Goodwin (Works. v. p. 283): “And both these differing apprehensions of his did Christ accordingly express in that one sentence, ‘My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken me?’ He speaks it as apprehending himself a son still united to God and beloved by him, and yet forsaken by him as a surety accursed.”
- Cf. the remarks of H. N. Bernard, The Mental Characteristics of our Lord Jesus Christ, 1888, pp. 257sq.
- Cf. Heb. ii. 13. In Jno. ii. 24 we are told that Jesus “did not trust himself (episteusen)” to those in Jerusalem who believed on him when they saw the signs which he did. Cf. Lutgert, as cited, p. 63: “From this the relation of Jesus to God receives a two-fold form: on the one side it is absolute trust, a certainty of receiving everything, a wish and prayer directed to God, which leads to a complete exaltation above nature; but this side of his faith Jesus makes use of only for men. By virtue of this his confidence he fulfils the wish of all who ask him. In this use of his faith he expresses his love for men. The faith of Jesus has however also another side; it is bowing, renunciation and subordination to God. This side of his faith Jesus employs only for himself. The story of the temptation shows that Jesus uses this renunciation in order to glorify God.” (Further, p. 89).
- Cf. A. Schlatter, Die Theologie des Neuen Testaments, 1909, p. 317: “Perfect love involves perfect trust, and is not thinkable without it. Yet though the disciples have declared that Jesus empowered them for faith and demanded faith of them, they have said nothing of Jesus’ own faith. Even John has said nothing of it although he has rich formulas for the piety of Jesus and speaks of faith as the act by which Jesus unites his disciples with himself. The notion of faith is introduced by him only with respect to Jesus’ relations to men, ‘He trusted himself not to them’; while, of Jesus’ relation to God, he says ‘He heard him, loved him, knew him, saw him,’ but not, ‘He believed on him’ (Jno. ii. 24, viii. 26, 40, xi. 10, xiv. 31, x. 15, xvii. 25, iii. 11, vi. 46, viii. 35). As a rule for the conduct of the disciples toward Jesus is expressly drawn from Jesus’ conduct towards the Father the formula ‘Believe in me as I believe in the Father’ might have been expected. But it does not occur.”
- Mk. i. 35, vi. 46, xiv. 32, 35; Mt. xiv. 23, xix. 13, xxvi. 36-39, 42-44; Lk. iii. 21, v. 16, vi. 12, ix. 18-28, xi. 1, xxii. 41, 44. Cf. Lutgert, as cited, p. 90: “Also in the expression of his love to God, Jesus fulfilled, according to the Evangelists, his own commandment, not to exhibit his piety openly, but to practice it in secret. The Evangelists therefore designedly lay stress on Jesus’ seeking solitude for prayer. The communion of Jesus with God, the ‘inner life’ of Jesus, falls accordingly outside their narrative. The relation of Jesus with God is not discussed, his communion with God remains a secret.” This is spoken of the Synoptics who alone tells us of Jesus’ habit of prayer (proseuchomai, proseucha, do not occur in John).
- Cf. Heb. v. 7: “having been heard for his godly fear (eulabeia), “ i.e. for his reverent and submissive awe, “that religious fear of God and anxiety not to offend him which manifests itself in voluntary and humble submission to his will” (Delitzsch in loc.). Davidson in loc.: “The clause throws emphasis on the Son’s reverent submission.” Humanitarian writers debate whether “fear” of God is to be attributed to Jesus. Wellhausen (Israel. und jud. Geschichte,5 p. 383, expanded in Skizzen and Vorarbeiten, i. 1884, p. 98) represents him as passing his life in fear of the judge of all: “He feels the reality of God dominating life, he breathes in the fear of the judge who demands account. of every idle word and has power to destroy body and soul in hell.” Similarly Bousset (Jesus, 1904, pp. 54, 99, E. T. pp. 112, 203) speaks of him as learning by his own experience “that God is terrible (furchtbar) and that an awful darkness and dread encircles him even for those who stand nearest to him,” and as “sharing to the bottom of his soul” “the fear of that almighty God who has power to damn body and soul together,” which he “has stamped upon the hearts of his disciples with such marvellous energy.” Karl Thieme, however, from the same humanitarian standpoint (Die christliche Demut, i. 1906, pp. 109 sq.) repels such representations as without historical ground: we may historically ascribe reverential awe (Ehrfurcht) to Jesus but not fear (Furcht). “Of course he comprehended God in the whole overtowering majesty of his being, and adored his immeasurable exaltation in the deepest reverence (Ehrfurcht).” But “we may maintain in Jesus’ case an altogether fearless (furchtlos) assurance of God and self.” “We cannot speak of a ‘fear of the judge’ in Jesus’ case, because it does not well harmonize with his faith in his own judgeship of the world. But we can no doubt call the intensity of his obedience, the living sense of responsibility in which he made it his end, his whole life through, to walk, in all his motions, with the utmost exactness according to the will of God as the almighty majestic Lord, his fear of God.” Lutgert (Die Liebe im Neuen Testament, 1895, pp. 88, 89) points to Jesus’ turning to the Father in Gethsemane and on the cross, not as something terrible (furchtbar) but with loving confidence, as decisive in the case. On the place of ‘the fear of God’ in Christian piety, see Lutgert’s article Die Furcht Gotten, published in the Theologieche Studien, presented to Martin Kuhler on 6 January 1905 (Leipzig, 1905, pp. 163 sq.).
- ’Eucharisteo, Jno. xi. 41; Mt. xv. 36; Mk. viii. 8; Jno. vi. 11, 23; xxvi. 27; Mk. xiv. 23; Lk. xxii. 17, 19; I Cor. xi. 24. On the word, see Lobeck, Phrynicus, p. 18; Rutherford, The New Phrynicus, p. 69. ’Exomo logeomai Mt. xi. 25; Lk. x. 21; R. V. mg. ‘praise’: so Meyer, Hahn, Zahn, also Kennedy, Sources of N. T. Greek, p. 118. Fritzsche: “Gratias tibi ago, quod.” Better, Plummer: “acknowledge openly to thine honour, give thee praise.” Similarly J. A. Alexander.
- Thaumazo: see Schmidt, Synonymik etc., iv. § 185, pp. 184 sq.: “it is perfectly generally ‘to wonder’ or ‘to admire,’ and is distinguished from thambein precisely as the German sich wundern, or bewundern is from staunen: that is, what has seized on us in the case of thaumazein is the extraordinary nature of the thing while in the case of thambein it is the unexpectedness and suddenness of the occurrence.” Cf. Art. “Amazement” in Hasting’s DCG. I, pp. 47, 48.
- ’Epithumia: see Schmidt, Synonymik, III, § 145, 3, 5; 146, 8; and of. J. C. Lambert, art. “Desire” in Hastings’ DCG, I, 453.
- ’Epaischunomai: see Schmidt, Synonymik, III, § 140; Trench Synonyms, § § 19, 20. On Shame in our Lord’s life cf. James Stalker, Imago Christi, p. 190, and Thieme, as above, p. 111.
- When Wellhausen (Geschichte Israels,2 p. 346) says, “There broke out with him from time to time manifestations of enthusiasm, but to these elevations of mood there corresponded also depressions,” — he is going beyond the warrant of the narrative, which pictures Jesus rather as singularly equable in his demeanor. Cf. Lutgert, as cited, p. 103.
- Origen, for example, in his comment on Mt. xxvi. 37 lays great weight on the words: “He began to be,” in the sense that the implication is that he never completed the act. Jesus only entered upon these emotions, but did not suffer them in their fulness. He was subject to propatheia but not to the patha themselves. Similarly Cornelius a Lapide wishes us to believe that Christ instead of “passions” had only “pro passiones libere assumptae.” For a modern writer approaching this position, see John Hutchison, The Monthly Interpreter, 1885, II, p. 288.
- It is not clear, for example, precisely what is meant by A. J. Mason (The Conditions of our Lord’s Life on Earth, 1896, p. 46), when he says: “When Christ is called ‘a Man’ it sounds as if he were considered only an incidental specimen of the race, like one of ourselves, and not, as he is in fact, the universal Man, in whom the whole of human nature is gathered up, — the representative and head of the entire species.” What is a “universal man?” And how could “the whole of human nature” be “gathered up” in Jesus, except representatively, — which is not what is meant — unless universal human nature is an entity with “real existence?” And if even Mason is unintelligible, what shall we say of a writer like J. P. Lange (Christliche Dogmatik; Zweiter Theil; Positive Dogmatik, 1881, pp. 770-771): “The man in the God-man is not an individual man of itself, but the man which takes mankind up into itself, as mankind has taken nature up into itself. And so it coalesces with the divine self-limitation, as the Son of God unites with the human limitation. The man in the God-man embraces the eternal Becoming of the whole world as it goes forth from God according to the energy of his nature. So it is also radically the real passage of the Becoming through the perfected Becoming into the absolute Being, and therefore the proper organ of the Son of God according to his ideal entrance into the absolute Becoming. It is the limited unlimitation which coalesces with the unlimited limitation of the divine man, who takes up into itself the human God.” It is only fair to bear in mind, however, that this statement is partly relieved of its unintelligibility when it is read in connection with Lange’s exposition of the ideas of man and the God-man in his Philosophical Dogmatics, which, in his system, precedes his Positive Dogmatics.
- Cf. A. B. Bruce, The Humiliation of Christ,2 1881, pp. 262, and pp. 427-428: “I see in him traces of strongly marked, though not one-sided individuality . . . Generally speaking, the reality, not ideality, of the humanity is the thing that lies on the surface; although the latter is not to be denied, nor the many-sidedness which is adduced in proof of it by Martensen and others.” Cf. Martensen, Christian Dogmatics, ET, pp. 280 sq.
- E. P. Boys-Smith, Hastings’ DCG, II, p. 163a: “The fulness, balance, and unity of the Master’s nature make it impracticable to use in his case what is the commonest and readiest way of portraying a person. This is to throw into the foreground of the picture those features in which the character is exceptionally strong, or those deficiencies which mark it off from others, and to leave as an unelaborated background the common stuff of human nature. Thus, by sketching the idiosyncrasies, and casting a few high lights, the man is set forth sufficiently. But what traits are there in the Lord Jesus which stand out because more highly developed than other features? Nothing truly human was wanting to him, nothing was exaggerated. The fact which distinguished him from all others was his completeness at all points. . . .”
- T. B. Kilpatrick, Hastings’ DCG, I. pp. 294b-295a: “Yet we are not to impute to him any unemotional callousness. He never lost his calmness; but he was not always calm. He repelled temptation with deep indignation (Mk. viii. 33). Hypocrisy aroused him to a flame of judgment (Mk. iii. 5, xi. 15-17; Mt. xxiii. 1-36). Treachery shook him to the center of his being (Jno. xiii. 21). The waves of human sorrow broke over him with a greater grief than wrung the bereaved sisters (Jno. xi. 33-35). There were times when he bore an unknown agony . . . Yet whatever his soul’s discipline might be, he never lost his self-control, was never distracted or afraid, but remained true to his mission and to his faith. He feels anger, or sorrow, or trouble, but these emotions are under the control of a will that is one with the divine will, and therefore are comprehended within the perfect peace of a mind stayed on God.” There is a good deal of rhetorical exaggeration in the language in which the phenomena are here described; but for the essence of the matter the representation is sound: our Lord is always master of himself.
- Com. on Jno. xi. 35.
- Fr. Gumlich. TSK, 1862, p. 285 note b, calls on us to “guard ourselves from” Calvin’s statement that “his feelings differ from ours as a pure, untroubled, powerful but onflowing stream from restless, foaming, muddy waves.” But do not his sinless emotions differ precisely so from our sinful passions?
- Piscator enlarges upon it and applies it thus: “just as pure and limpid water when mixed with a pure dye if agitated, foams indeed but is not made turbid; but when mixed with an impure and dirty dye, if agitated, not only forms foam but is made turbid and dirty; so the heart of Christ pure from all imperfection, was indeed agitated by the affections implanted in human nature, but was soiled by no sin; but our hearts are so agitated by affections that they are soiled by the sin which inheres in us.”
- Westcott in loc.: “Even our human sense of fitness is able to recognize the complete correspondence between the characteristics of Christ as High Priest and the believers’ wants.” Davidson, in loc.: “He suited our necessities and condition.”
Excerpt from The Person and Work of Christ, pp. 93-145. by B.B. Warfield