It doesn’t seem very “Christmasy” to talk about the word “indignant.” But we’ve been going through a series called “Remember the Wonder” this season that has really been centered around children and childlike faith. The message yesterday was intriguing because of one word: indignant.
The word indignant shows up only one time in the Gospels in Mark 10:14. The disciples had just rebuked a group of children for wanting to come to Jesus. And this wasn’t a “not now, kids; Jesus is busy” kind of rebuke. It was the same kind used for exorcisms or opponents of God’s will. At this Jesus was indignant. His disciples did something that aroused the anger of Jesus to the point where Jesus quite literally vented on them…publicly.
See the disciples had a bad history of trying to hinder those that were not like them from coming to Jesus (see the infamous “nuke & rebuke” passage in Luke 9.51-55). Not always, but there were certain times when you can understand why Jesus would get to that enough-is-enough point. And this was one of them.
The disciples saw a group of children and wrote them off thinking they’d waste Jesus’ time. But Jesus gives the children the three things they needed most: His time, His touch, and His blessing.
So the short version is this: if we fail to welcome people who are different, or less intelligent, or developmentally delayed, or slightly more immature, or slightly less groomed, or those who sin in ways we don’t…Jesus gets indignant. And if His disciples weren’t exempt, I really doubt I am.
How do we respond to this? Evaluate your life in light of these questions:
- What group of people do you purposely avoid?
- What group of people do you knowingly ignore?
- What group of people annoy you?
- Do you think Jesus is cool with that?