Chapter Eleven: The Tough Side
The Severity of Jesus Christ
No one ever spoke like this man!”
John 7:46 (ESV)
When one thinks of Jesus we usually think of his love, compassion, and tenderness to sinners and to those in need. Jesus was a “friend” to those that were lost and in need of a shepherd always ready with a comforting word. However, we often forget that he was also a man that was harsh to the hypocrite and the self-righteous. Even his disciples were not spared a choice word or two:
And he said to them, “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?”
Matthew 8:26 (ESV)
But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.”
Matthew 16:23 (ESV)
Yes, there were times that Christ used tough language, but he did so not out of hatred or anger, but out of love. His desire was to bring all to repentance. He understood the blindness of their eyes to see, the deafness of their ears to hear, and the hardness of their heart to comprehend the life-giving words of God. His tough side was necessary to grab their attention and to point out the wrath of God.
Even today we may find Jesus’ words hard to stomach, yet they are there for our benefit to prepare us for godly living as 2 Timothy 3:16-17 reminds us that all Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.
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