Mark 3 documents a guaranteed way to grieve the Son of God.
Again [Jesus] entered the synagogue, and a man was there with a withered hand. And they watched Jesus, to see whether he would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse him. And he said to the man with the withered hand, “Come here.” And he said to them, “Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to kill?” But they were silent. And he looked around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart… (Mark 3:1-5)
Think about this through the lens of Hebrews 13:8–Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever, which means the same things that angered and grieved him 2,000 years ago continue to anger and grieve him today. He can see and feel today what he saw and felt in that Galilean synagogue. Hardness of heart. Hard human hearts anger and grieve the Son of God.
Hardness of heart keeps us from appreciating Jesus for who he is. Hardness of heart restricts us from honoring Jesus as God or being thankful to him. Hardness of heart leads us away from humility and receptivity to Jesus’ message. Hardness of heart keeps us silent when we ought to speak up and passive when we ought to act. Hardness of heart resists rebuke and correction. Hardness of heart reinforces self-centeredness in stiff-necked people, driving them away from repentance into excuses, rationalizations, and shifted blame. Hardness of heart becomes more and more accustomed to darkness, growing to even prefer it to the light if the light is going to require accountability and change. Hardness of heart creates a barrier between sinners and the Savior–a barrier for which the sinner is responsible.
When hearts given to men and women by their Creator are hard, it angers and grieves the Son of God.
So here’s a challenging thought worth serious reflection today: are there areas of my God-given heart that I’ve allowed to harden against Jesus and his sovereign will for my life? If so, what do I need to do to soften my heart so that my Lord is full of joy and not grief over me? After all, he sees and feels today just as surely as he saw and felt in that Galilean synagogue…
What does he see and feel when he looks at me?