Jesus used strong language!
(Copyright @2009 by Yonko Mali, All rights reserved.)
Well, that was supposed to be Arnold from California but actually that was just one of my crazy relatives! He’s a good imitator of Arnold, isn’t he.
But “Arnold” reminds us that Jesus was not a wimp! He was a manly prophet. He was a “manly man” not a “girly man”. Sometimes Jesus is depicted as this nice guy, this humble, innocent sweat person. Yes he was all that but he was also a revolutionist. He came to stirs things up. To excite the Status Quo! And he spoke the common language, he spoke in the vernacular and he used strong language.
After all, he was talking mostly to men most of the time and he wanted the men to change, to change their behavior, to repent of their sins and to bring about God’s kingdom in their own lives.
Jesus was controversial; he was the stumbling block for men. You could ignore Him only at your peril.
And look at the strong language he used even with his own followers; Jesus warned us to be the “salt of the earth” and if we do not do that, this is what he said in Luke 14:34
If salt loses its saltiness. What good is it? It is not even fit for the soil to be trampled on by men, it is not even good for the manure pile, and it should be completely thrown out!
Jesus is saying that if we do not become the salt of the earth, we are not even fit for the manure pile. This is pretty strong language to me.
Now also consider this. One could easily translate the word “manure” into that the 4 letter Anglo Saxon word. You know what that word is! The Bible translators are simply being kind to us. Because they realize that the Bible has to be read in Church, on the radio and in polite society by women and children, so they use words like manure. So keep in mind that the words Jesus is using here could easily be translated into the street language of the slums that I grew up in.
And think about this! If Jesus used such strong language about his followers, how about the language he used against his enemies, the Pharisees and the Teachers of the Law! Here are a few examples:
Starting in Matthew 23:13:
Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as you are.
He is calling them sons of hell!
He goes on to call them “blind guides”, “blind Pharisees” and he calls them hypocrites over and over again. He also called them. You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell?
But our God is good and gracious and merciful. Do you know his strong words to the Pharisees worked? Many of these men became his followers. It says in Acts 15:5, “that some of His believers who were members of the Pharisees stood up and proclaimed”. And even members of the Sanhedrin, the Jewish Council also became believers. We know, for example, that Joseph of Arimathea and Nickodemus and other prominent Jews on the Sanhedrin were followers of Jesus.
Here are some other examples of his strong language. In Matthew 21:18, Jesus curses the fig tree and it dies!
And remember what he did to the money changers at the temple. He turned over all their tables and he yelled at them. He was angry at them and he was zealous to remind them that the Holy Temple was meant to be a House of Prayer but these money changes had made it a den of robbers. Cheating the poor people by charging them high prices even for doves which was the only animal that poor people could afford to offer as a sacrifice.
And listen to what Jesus said in Matthew 10:34:
Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth? I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn
“ ‘a man against his father,
a daughter against her mother,
a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law—
a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’
“Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
I am sure there are many of you in this listening audience, have family members that are non-believers and you know of the contentiousness that this creates in family relationships and quarrels that may break out during family gatherings.
So indeed this is true what Jesus said; he did not come to bring peace to the earth but he only brings peace to those who seek the truth, who seek the True God and find Him and find their salvation in Jesus the Son of God! Then you will know his peace but the world will never know peace until they accept the Son of God.
And like my caller Arnold says, Jesus is coming back. I’ll be back! And I warn you that when he comes back again, Jesus is not coming as the little baby again; no he is coming as the Lion of Judah! So watch out. He’ll be back!