Did Jesus really say that?
For most of us, it’s hard to associate ‘Jesus’ and ‘Tough’ in the same sentence. Of course he was a Carpenter (physical labor anyone?) who chased the vendors from the Temple with the aid of a whip (yes, really), but in spite of this, we still perceive him as a mild-mannered, kinda hippie-looking, kind-to-children, soft-spoken teacher who is best known for turning the other cheek and teaching us to love one another.
Nevertheless, there are these passages of the New Testament that really give us a different picture of the man some call God and Savior. These are, in my opinion, the 6 toughest sayings of Jesus.
So here are the (arguably) top 6 toughest sayings of Jesus:
1- Buy a Sword. What? Did Jesus really say this? To the delight of most conservatives… Absolutely! While you’ll rarely hear this part of this New Testament dialogue on a Sunday morning at Church, Jesus did indeed tell his disciples to do just that.
“He said to them, ‘But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one.’” Luke 22:36 (New International Version) (NIV)
These are pretty tough words from a man perceived to be to world’s foremost bringer of peace.
2- I have not come to bring peace. Huh? Say what? Hey, I didn’t write the Book. And yet, it’s in there… in Matthew 10:34-36 to be precise:
“Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law – a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.” (NIV)
Well, all I can say is this won’t make tense family gatherings for the Holidays any easier.
3- Bring them here and kill them in front of me. In a parable where Jesus unmistakably speaks of himself, we get a glimpse of a, shall we say, far more uncompromising Jesus than the one we have been taught in Sunday school. In Luke 19:27, the conclusion of this particular parable ends this way : “But those enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them—bring them here and kill them in front of me.”
Zeus? Thor? Yahweh? Not quite… Jesus.
4- Not right to give to the dogs. While most of us like treating our dogs like a member of the family, Jesus, in this passage of Scripture, seems pretty rude to the Canaanite woman. Or is that Canine woman? You be the judge…
“The woman came and knelt before him. ‘Lord, help me!’ she said. He replied, ‘It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.’” (Matthew 15: 25-26) (NIV)
Did he just call this woman a dog? Well, um, yup. But undone by that comment, she persisted and still got table scraps (i.e.: her daughter was healed).
5- Woes to the Scribes and Pharisees. The Scribes and Pharisees, who were the religious establishment of the day, had it in for Jesus. In one particular passage, Jesus decides to strike back at them and doesn’t hold any punches!
The passage is found in Matthew 23:1-39, and is too long to print here, but one notable excerpt (v. 33) reads like this: “You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell?”
Ouch! That must’a hurt! Actually, it hurt so much they plotted to kill him afterwards.
6- I never knew you. One belief that is very common about Jesus is that ‘He loves everybody.’ Well, there are definitely some major nuances to that belief when we see it tested against the New Testament. In Matthew 7:21-23 we read:
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’”
Okay, so Heaven doesn’t have an Open Door Policy after all.
Well, there you have it. The 6 toughest sayings of Jesus. As you can see, He wasn’t very politically correct. In fact, He was a lot more badass than we give Him credit for. Who knew?
Well, now you know too.
Tell your friends!