Quotable: Warfield, on Jesus Rage

“Why did the sight of the wailing 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 [Jn. 11:33, 38], and is obviously emphasized as an indispensable element in the development of the story, on which, in its due place and degree, the less 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. In extinguishable 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.’
                       -John Hutchison”

B.B. Warfield, “On the Emotional Life of our Lord,” Biblical and Theological Studies, 60-61.

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