Jesus never laughs in the New Testament Gospels.  But he does get angry.

In my previous post I tried to show that it happens in the “original” text of Mark 1:41:  when a leper asks him to heal him, he (Jesus) gets angry.  Later scribes, understandably, changed the verse to say Jesus felt “compassion.”  But if Mark actually said he got angry, uh ….  what was he angry about?

To answer the question we need to consider a feature of Mark that very few readers have ever noticed.  Unlike in Matthew, Luke, or John, Jesus gets angry on several occasions in Mark’s Gospel.

How do we explain that?

Scholars have sometimes noticed that it happens in Mark.  But rarely has anyone pointed out that in every instance it appears to involve Jesus’ ability to perform miraculous deeds of healing.

In Mark 9 we find the account of a man pleading with Jesus to cast an evil demon from his son, since the disciples have proved unable to do so: “Often,” he tells Jesus, “it casts him into the fire and into water to destroy him; but if you are able, show us compassion and help us” (9:21-22). The man, in other words, asks for compassion. Strikingly enough, Jesus replies not with compassion but a rebuke: “If you are able?! All things are possible to the one who believes.” (9:23). The man then continues to plead:

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