An interesting response by Jesus. Was He being loving here?

bible.jpgI was listening to Luke 11 and noticed something.  Sometimes you catch things when hearing it that you don’t observe when reading, and vice verse.

Jesus was in the middle of dishing out some “woes” on the Pharisees when a lawyer says, “Teacher, in saying these things you insult us also.”

In our politically correct world people would start freaking out and apologizing for causing offense.  But how did Jesus respond?  Did He take it all back, so as not to cause offense?  Was He like Sir Lancelot from Monty Python and the Holy Grail?  (“Sorry, sorry, sorry . . .”)

Not exactly.  Read and enjoy:

“Teacher, in saying these things you insult us also.”

And he said, “Woe to you lawyers also! For you load people with burdens hard to bear, and you yourselves do not touch the burdens with one of your fingers . . .

That’s just one of the many, many reasons I love Jesus.  Instead of apologizing for speaking the truth He lays more truth on them — and even more directly than before.  That’s going to leave a mark.

Here’s more of the passage:

Woes to the Pharisees and Lawyers

37 While Jesus was speaking, a Pharisee asked him to dine with him, so he went in and reclined at table. 38 The Pharisee was astonished to see that he did not first wash before dinner. 39 And the Lord said to him, “Now you Pharisees cleanse the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness. 40 You fools! Did not he who made the outside make the inside also? 41 But give as alms those things that are within, and behold, everything is clean for you. 42 “But woe to you Pharisees! For you tithe mint and rue and every herb, and neglect justice and the love of God. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others. 43 Woe to you Pharisees! For you love the best seat in the synagogues and greetings in the marketplaces. 44 Woe to you! For you are like unmarked graves, and people walk over them without knowing it.” 45 One of the lawyers answered him, “Teacher, in saying these things you insult us also.” 46 And he said, “Woe to you lawyers also! For you load people with burdens hard to bear, and you yourselves do not touch the burdens with one of your fingers . . .

I asked in the title if Jesus was being loving here.  The answer, of course, is yes, because Jesus was always loving.  But too many people equate loving with nice/patronizing/indulging/etc., so whenever I come across these verses I like to add them to the “Was Jesus being loving when He said _____?” list.

We aren’t Jesus, of course, but we are called to speak the truth.  Political correctness, where you speak lies in order to maintain your popularity, isn’t loving.  We should sow the seed generously — the seed being the word of God.

10 thoughts on “An interesting response by Jesus. Was He being loving here?”

  1. the biggest problem nowadays is how people define love and loving. Love to some seems to mean — as you said — nice, non-offensive, comforting, etc. Sometimes the truth hurts, sometimes love is telling someone something unpleasant that they dont want to hear, but need to hear. There’s a big difference between loving and lovely.

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  2. Of course to recall the teachings of Scripture is to be hateful according to some. Thus, He Who inspired Scripture must Himself be hateful.

    As to the specific example you cited, it is a mild one compared to those many OT stories that demonstrate His wrath and sense of justice.

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    1. Yes. People should read all of the OT at least once. They are really missing out if they don’t. If they really love God wouldn’t they want to know more about him?

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  3. Boldness requires a certain closeness with the Father. Many Christians do not want to be singled out are even made alone, like many prophets within the Bible, so they settle with a watered down relationship with Jesus.

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  4. I am afraid that too many people are hiding behind the excuse of not being offensive, when they are really afraid of being embarrased and ridiculed for speaking out for their beliefs.

    So they “lovingly” let their friends and neighbors go to hell because they don’t want to get out of their comfort zone.

    I have to confess I struggle with this too. Sometimes I manage to say the right thing. But too often I look back and realize an opportunity has passed me by.

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  5. It’s good to see that he is represented as someone who works within the framework of society but is not afraid of speaking his mind. An insult is a little thing to bear if you are being taught a valuable lesson from the man himself! It’s funny to see that lawyers are looked down upon throughout history, and yet we would all consider ourselves lucky if our children became lawyers.

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  6. Great post! I have often used these same passages of scripture when people accuse me of not being Christlike when outing false teachers, political charlatans, and the like. Jesus put it bluntly when it needed to be put that way. Loving? Absolutely, because those of us with kids will tell you, sometimes loving require tough love.

    I also like this passage from Paul: Galatians 4:16 Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?

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