Okay, I’m reading between the lines here. (At least I try to admit it when I do.)
Because you won’t find in most versions of the Bible a phrase that specifically describes Jesus as exasperated. Mark, however, twice records Jesus doing something that other gospel writers do not:
He looked up to heaven and with a deep sigh said to him, “Ephphatha!” (which means, “Be opened!” ). – Mark 7:34
He sighed deeply and said, “Why does this generation ask for a miraculous sign? I tell you the truth, no sign will be given to it.” – Mark 8:12
I don’t know about you, but I have been known to sigh when exasperated. When I exptected more, or better, or smarter. I’ve sighed for other reasons, too. But in the context of these verses, Jesus sounds exasperated to me.
He used other expressions that support my suspicion. “You of little faith,” He addressed Peter, who had failed to walk on water. As well as all of the chosen, when a storm nearly swamped their boat … and when they didn’t understand His warning about the leaven of the Pharisees. He also upbraided a whole group of followers who heard him describe how God clothes the field with lilies. That conversation began when someone tried to get Jesus to arbitrate an inheritance disagreement, and Jesus responded: “Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?”
Then there’s the time early in His ministry, John records, that He evicted animal merchants and money changers from the temple courts, telling them, “Get these out of here! How dare you turn my Father’s house into a market!” Perhaps the incident presages His return some years later to do the same thing, and add: “It is written, ‘My house will be a house of prayer’; but you have made it ‘a den of robbers.'”
And He went so far as to call some folks “snakes” and “vipers,” and called Peter “Satan” once. That had to hurt.
It all sounds pretty exasperated to me.
You can probably think of more explicit examples.
“In your anger, do not sin,” advises Psalm 4:4. But being angry itself, or even just exasperated, is no sin.
It is human.
So was Jesus.
The pattern I suspect, though, is that most of us humans get ticked off about relatively small things.
As I recall the situations that seemed to exasperate Jesus, they were when other folks couldn’t see the big picture because of their focus on the microscopic. When they couldn’t see the eternal beyond the transient.
A sign or miracle that would only last as long as memory and life. A storm that would pass. A chance to make a few bucks from an inheritance, or from a temple worshiper who didn’t have the right kind of money or the right kind of animal to sacrifice. A fascination with this temporal life, with no hope nor faith for a life that cannot end.
Am I reading between the lines?
Or do the lines converge on Jesus’ point each time – putting everything into perspective?