For all His tenderness, comforting words and inspiring stories, Jesus also had some scathing words and choice epithets for the authorities, specially the High Priests, the Scribes and the Pharisees. Like “You whitened sepulchers!” “Hypocrites!” “Fools!” “You brood of vipers!” In the end, these stinging remarks were to be His undoing, prompting these people to plot His death.
In my younger days, I fancied myself doing a Jesus, railing against corruption, oppression and social injustice, calling a spade a spade and even using some choice epithets as Jesus did. I wanted to be a revolutionary and a firebrand out to condemn the evil-doers to bring about radical change in society.
Age had definitely mellowed me. Today I’d rather hold back on that caustic remark than hurt people. I’d rather lose an argument rather than lose a friend or strain a relationship. I am not always successful and I still hurt people I love with my sharp remarks. And then it would usually hurt me more than the other person.
As I grow older too, I am all too aware of my own failings and shortcomings. I hesitate to call out others’ missteps, afraid that they might also call out mine. And that would be indeed painful. So, for the most part, I usually just bite my tongue and keep my peace. I will leave the judgements and the condemnations for the Lord to give. And as for me, Let me just give blessings and benedictions, and not curses and blame.
The Lord has made known his salvation.
~ Psalm 98
Jesus left, the scribes and Pharisees
began to act with hostility toward him
and to interrogate him about many things,
for they were plotting to catch him at something he might say.