When Jesus “in-thunders”

[First of all, an apology to many of you who have made comments to other posts on my blog. The last few weeks have been crazy with the launch of The Black Swan Effect: A Response to Gender Hierarchy in the Church and I’ve just not had time to respond as I usually would.]

The other morning, I was reading John 11, the story of the raising of Lazarus, and I found myself weeping over the passage. My tears tied up with the depth of emotion expressed by Jesus at the situation. Here’s what verses 33-38 and 43 say in the NLT:

When Jesus saw her weeping and saw the other people wailing with her, a deep anger welled up within him,  and he was deeply troubled.  “Where have you put him?” he asked them.

They told him, “Lord, come and see.”  Then Jesus wept. The people who were standing nearby said, “See how much he loved him!”  But some said, “This man healed a blind man. Couldn’t he have kept Lazarus from dying?”

Jesus was still angry as he arrived at the tomb, a cave with a stone rolled across its entrance…  Then Jesus shouted,“Lazarus, come out!”

In this passage, Jesus has deep anger, is deeply troubled, is still angry and shouts!

On Friday, in the church that meets in our home, we broke into groups to study this passage. I decided to look up the meaning of the word translated “angry” in a Greek version. The word literally means, “in thundered!” Jesus was thundering inside. Was it the work of Satan he was thundering against? Death?

Strong’s Concordance and the Helps Word Studies gives the definition, “snort like an angry horse,” “roar with rage,” “express indignant displeasure.”

So our group spent some time praying with a young man who has a brain tumor (please pray for Jose. He’s undergoing another brain surgery today). We “in-thundered” against the tumor. (It was a noisy prayer-time!)

I think Jesus “in-thunders” over a number of things. I think he “in-thunders” over sickness and disease, poverty, injustice.

What do you think?

 Photo Credit: Sprengben [why not get a friend] via Compfight cc

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  • Kenneth Dawson

    Yes I have always said that we need a bible translation that would show the emotional side of things.

    • GaryS

      ? How would that look, do you think?

  • Ann Johnstone

    I noticed that the Greek word ‘enebrimesato’ is translated in the NLT as ‘a deep anger (welled up within him)’ whereas most other translations say that Jesus ‘was deeply troubled in spirit’. I also discovered that the word ‘enebrimesato’ is not even in my Greek-English Bible Dictionary. And of course Google Translate is no help whatsoever! As a lover of language, I found this NLT rendering of the word interesting. It raises a whole new dimension in our understanding of this passage: The effect of sin and death on the whole of creation, and the depth of Jesus’ anguish in response to this.

    • GaryS

      Hi, Greek guy here!

      The word as it would appear in a dictionary would be the form _embrimaomai_.

      I would have to go with the majority of translations on this one. 1. The verb can have to do with anger, but only in contexts of angry _speech_, not feeling, see Mark 14:5. 2. The emotion that Jesus shows in 33, 35 is emotional upset, he doesn’t say anything angry.

      HOWever, the commentaries are divided on this one, so one cannot be dogmatic.

      By the way, the verb can be applied to “snorting in”, but so far as I can tell, only when used of actual horses.

      I like what you have done, Felicity, applying this to prayer.