Jesus’ kaleidoscope of emotions
Until recently I have thought Mark’s gospel was rather terse and truncated. As the shortest gospel of the New Testament I thought it tended to skip over events and lacked the fullness I found in the other gospels.
That was my perspective until just lately. As I started to use Mark’s gospel for my times of personal reflection I began to notice the frequency with which he observed and commented on the different emotions expressed by various people and also by Jesus.
Mark narrated various encounters where I can see Jesus speaking sternly, being filled with compassion, showing anger and distress, displaying amazement, compassion, looking with love, sighing, demonstrating indignation, revealing deep distress.
One writer described the gospels as painting ‘portraits of Jesus using a kaleidoscope of brilliant “emotional” colours.” He further writes that in our quest to be like Jesus we often overlook his emotions. Jesus reveals to us what it is to be fully human and made in the image of God. Emotions are part of his humanity as indeed they are of our own.
The Greek word ‘kardia’ often translated as heart in the New Testament refers figuratively to the centre of our personality – our intellect, our emotions and our will.
As you spend time reading the gospel accounts of Jesus and see when, how and to whom he expresses his emotions may you be challenged to consider your own emotional expressions and possibly identify those areas where you desire to grow to be more Christ-like.
Let us not forget then as we pray and seek daily to become more and more like Jesus that our emotions as well as our minds and our will also be in need of daily renewing and reshaping.
 G. Walter Hansen, “The Emotions of Jesus” , Christianity Today, Feb. 3, 1997.