Did Jesus experience all emotions?

Last updated on February 26, 2024

If Jesus was fully human, did He experience all emotions, including sinful ones like jealousy? First to say is that the Lord Jesus was a very emotional human being. That is an important observation, since the Bible teaches that Jesus reveals us who the Lord God is: “For in Him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily” (Colossians 2:9). We are created in God’s image. Jesus reveals this image perfectly. And that’s a very emotional image.

Jesus experienced love

The first thing that stands out in Jesus’ life, is His love. He loved the rich young man who came to Him (Mark 10:21). He loved Lazarus (John 11:36). He especially loved the apostle John (see for example John 19:26). He told His disciples that He loved them so much, that He was prepared to lay down His life for them (John 15:12-13). God is love, the Bible states (1 John 4:8). Jesus’ life confirms this.

Emotions flowing from love – sorrow

Out of Jesus’ love, various other emotions emerge. He knew sorrow. He wept when His friend Lazarus had died (John 11:35). He wept about Jerusalem, for it refused to repent and turn towards Him (Luke 19:41). Before being arrested, He prayed with loud cries and tears to be saved from death (Hebrews 5:7).

Jesus was compassionate

The Lord Jesus also had compassion. He was moved with pity when He saw sick people (e.g. Mark 1:40-41). He had compassion for people who were hungry (Mark 8:2). Most of all, He had compassion for people with spiritual needs (Matthew 9:36).

Jesus knew anger

The Lord Jesus was also angry, to various degrees. When the disciples tried to keep little children away from Him, He was indignant (Mark 10:14). When He saw that the religious leaders of the synagogue didn’t permit someone to be healed on the Sabbath, He looked around at them with anger (Mark 3:5). When He saw how the temple was being abused as a market place, He overturned the tables and drove the sellers out of the temple. This was accompanied by great anger, which becomes clear from the fact that Jesus’ behavior made the disciples remember the Bible text “Zeal for Your house will consume Me” (Psalm 69:9, cited in John 2:17).

Jesus lived a life full of joy

Another emotion that is profound in Jesus’ life, is joy. He was glad about an opportunity to strengthen the faith of His disciples (John 11:15). He rejoiced and thanked God that He has revealed His salvation (Luke 10:21). The word used here originates in jumping for joy. It is about abundant joy. We even read that Jesus “for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame” (Hebrews 12:2). His life was so filled with joy, that our joy will only be full if His joy is in us (John 15:11).

Jesus was sinless

Does this mean that Jesus experienced the full range of human emotions? No. The Bible tells us that Jesus was made like His brothers in every respect (Hebrews 2:17). This means that He was tempted in the same way as we are. But there is an important difference: He endured these temptations without sin (Hebrews 4:15). Emotions are reactions to things happening around us; or to us. These reactions can be good or bad. Jesus didn’t have any bad reactions, so He didn’t experience jealousy, sinful passions, or fits of anger.

With respect to our emotions, we long to become like Jesus. We long for deep emotions that are aimed at God’s glory, not our own desires.

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