What Jesus Said We Might Not Say
Jesus said some things I probably would not have written. Without those words, there are many things I would not have learned to do or avoid. I may not have written the words, “Love your enemies” or “Blessed are the poor in spirit.”
What philosopher would give us the words, “Forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Luke 23.34)? What ruler would say, “Every plant which my heavenly Father hath not planted shall be rooted up” (Matthew 14.13-14)? Would any counselor today advise a couple that “someone who looks upon a woman lustfully has already committed adultery in his heart” (Matthew 5.28-29)? How many religious leaders of our day would stand before a progressive, liberal-minded people and declare the words of Luke 13.1-3? “Now on the same occasion there were some present who reported to Him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. And Jesus said to them, ‘Do you not suppose that these Galileans were greater sinners than all other Galileans because they suffered this fate?’ I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”
Jesus had some controversial words to say for the society and the religious people of His day. What man would have the boldness to say, “I am the way, the truth, and the life, no one cometh to the Father but by me” (John 14.6). Who is going to say, “Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink His blood, ye have not life in yourselves” (John 6.53)? How many people would want you to make a sacrifice like the one Jesus petitions from all of mankind in Luke 14.26? “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.” How hard would it be to follow Matthew 18.9? “And if thine eye causeth thee to stumble, pluck it out and cast it from thee. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into the hell of fire.” Then there is the one in Matthew 5.21-22, which would get a lot of responses if it were to be placed in the editor’s column of the Washington Post: “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be in danger of judgment.’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be in danger of judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger to the hell of fire.”
Some of those words were words people who knew the law should have understood. The heathen had never heard a man speak with such authority. What makes the words of Jesus difficult is one word: TRUTH. Truth is hard to accept. Truth digs deep into our motives and actions. Truth is what those who knew the law failed to practice.
What Jesus said was and is still hard to swallow and digest today. It is the TRUTH all mankind needs to know, understand, and obey. This TRUTH is the Great Physician’s means of healing, and no medicine for an infection is applied without pain. What hurts most is not really the spiritual means of deliverance, it is the deeply set disease of sin man has allowed to infect and live in his life. The blood of Jesus is the remedy for cleansing the sin. Most refuse to be set free because it hurts to confess, it hurts to give up pride, and it hurts to admit wrong. It is the TRUTH which sets us free (John 8.32). The truth we need spoken into our hearts. The truth we need to hear. The truth sometimes we do not know.
Some of the unbelievers Jesus taught did not want to change their courses of life. At first, those words of Jesus will startle a person. They are not the words a person is expecting to hear. Upon hearing them, Jesus’ words are refused, because they lack tact, or sound offensive or harsh. This is what happened in John 6 when Jesus spoke about eating His flesh and drinking His blood. Multitudes of people wanted to follow Him, but not after hearing that message (v. 60)!
People today often fail to truly understand what Jesus means by the words He said. If we would take the time to read it and hear those words again, we would understand why Jesus said what He did. Peter realized this in John 6.68. After Jesus noticed the multitude of people leaving Him, He turned to His disciples and asked them, “Would ye also go away?” (v. 67). “Simon Peter answered Him, ‘Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life” (v. 68). The words of Jesus - words we might not say - are truthful words He wants us to obey so we can have eternal life. This is the point of Jesus’ words. He speaks with the end in mind.
Therefore, we are left with a major decision: Reject or obey His words. Eternal life or hell? Which will it be for you?