It occurred to me that there was something further that should have been said in my previous post entitled, “Woe to you, Mayberry!”. In that post, I reviewed the shocking statements made by Jesus about the cities in which he had performed so many miracles. I just started to say that they were not kind words. But that is the part I left out. They were kind words. They were harsh, but they were not mean.
God didn’t come to earth in the flesh just to make sure that we knew how mad he was at us or how bad we are. Jesus didn’t take the time to berate the cities of Galilee just to get it off his chest or to vindicate himself against his enemies. His bitterly sharp words to them were not him blowing off steam, but one of the most sacrificially loving things he did during the course of his ministry. They were irrefutable proof of his great love for those he was speaking to then and for those like you and me who he knew would read his words over the next several centuries.
How can that be? Well, first of all, his words were true. He wasn’t telling them anything other than something that they desperately needed to know. His words were calculated to shock and offend because he wanted to awaken sleeping and deceived people who were not conscious that they were in grave danger.
He could have kept his mouth shut and been a lot more popular. But Jesus boldly spoke bitter words in order to save people. Jesus was tortured to death for saying such things. Moreover, he knew he would be. But he said the things he said because he was practicing the most courageous and sacrificial kind of love.