November 15, 2010
It would be an egregious error to study the life of Jesus and conclude that he only said things that made people happy. On the contrary, the Master sometimes spoke things that filled people with rage. But what was it that dictated whether people would be offended at his words or not? What did the Master speak?
It’s obvious that He spoke truth, bringing light to the darkness and exposure to the concealed. This would offend anyone that loves the darkness and is hiding behind a semblance of religious piety. Truth is offensive to anyone living in darkness.
One thing that must be factored in is the offensiveness of Jesus calling himself God. The reason why many people were offended at him was because of this self-deification. Yet this wasn’t the only reason. Jesus often spoke in parables against the Pharisees and teachers of the Law; consequently, they went away gnashing their teeth and plotting murder.
It was because he spoke truth, bringing light to their darkened matters. The student of Jesus, therefore, mustn’t be afraid to speak truth at the cost of offending others. However, the motive behind the speaking of truth must be love. If the student of Jesus has not love, he has no license to speak into the lives of others. The student of Jesus must learn to love, then learn to speak the truth as an offshoot of that love (see 2 Timothy 2:24-26).
Speaking the truth will quickly place one in the same position as Jesus: few friends, many enemies.
The Master’s pupil must speak the truth in love.
No matter how offensive it may be, you must speak the truth. No matter how right you may be, you must speak in love.
(See also: John 18:37)