Did Jesus ever fight with the disciples?

There aren’t any stories in scripture of Jesus fighting with his disciples, per se, but there are certainly examples of Jesus being exasperated, indignant, and disappointed with his friends/followers, for example Mark 10:14. There are times when Jesus told parables or tried to make a point but the disciples didn’t understand and he expressed impatience with them. Once he overheard the disciples arguing about who was the greatest among them, which he found maddening (Matthew 18:1-7). Another time, Peter tried to insist that Jesus shouldn’t have to suffer and die, and Jesus retorted, “Get behind me, Satan. For you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things” (Mark 8:33).

Maybe you find it disconcerting to think of Jesus as anything less than perfect, but remember, Jesus was fully human and being human includes experiencing all human emotions, including those we often judge as negative. Others may find it a relief to know that the Jesus we follow makes room for all human emotions, and indeed has experienced all the emotions we experience.

Ann Naffziger

Ann Naffziger

Ann Naffziger is a scripture instructor and spiritual director in the San Francisco Bay area. She has has written articles on spirituality and theology for various national magazines and edited several books on the Hebrew Scriptures.


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