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Does Jesus Advocate Name-Calling In The Bible?
Why would Jesus call people - "hypocrites," "fools," or "children of hell"? Did He have a bad spirit? What was He trying to prove by doing so?
No, Jesus did not have a "bad spirit." Of course not! He was and is the Son of God Who is perfect, without sin, and can do no wrong.
Then what was He trying to prove by entering into this practice? Was He setting a precedent for us - giving us an excuse to call people who get on our "last nerve" - "You fool, hypocrite, or serpent!"?
Being the Omniscient God that He is, He infallibly knows what is in man. Hence, He knows when people are sincere or phonies.
Throughout Matthew 23, we find Him renouncing the Pharisees - using various derogatory names. In using them against these religious leaders, it was not His intent to manifest hatred, resentment, wrath, or malice toward them for opposing His ministry. He simply called them names in order to reveal to them their true character and in hopes that they would "wake up" and repent of their sins.
In Matthew 23:15, He called them - "hypocrites" - simply because they were stage-players in religion. They were show-offs, frauds, and impersonators. They were acting the part of someone who is holy. Under the mask of godliness, they hid their polluted hearts. Their whole life was a lie.
In Matthew 23:15, He referred to them as being a - "child of hell." He mentioned that their converts were "twofold more the child of hell than yourselves." "Child of hell" was a Talmudic phrase - a Hebraism for an excessively wicked person who might very easily claim Hell for his Mother and the devil for his father. It was one who was fitted and destined for Hell.
In Matthew 23:16, He called them - "blind guides." These who professed to be "guides of the blind"(Romans 2:19), He was calling the total opposite - "blind guides." They professed to be leaders but were themselves blind because they closed their eyes to the Truth and became ignorant of divine things.
In Matthew 23:17, He called them - "fools." Didn't He say in Matthew 5:22 that if you call your brother a "fool," then you would be "in danger of hell fire"? Was He contradicting Himself here or breaking His own law in doing so? No, He was not maliciously calling them "fools" in a fit of rage or anger. He referred to them as such to open their eyes to their own stupidity, irrationality, absurdity, and moral delinquency. Their minds were so blinded by their love for money that they weren't thinking "straight" or reasoning rationally.
In Matthew 23:27, He called them - "whited sepulchres." On the fifteenth day of the month Adair - right before the Passover feast - the Jews would whitewash all the spots where the graves of the poor were situated in the fields or along the roadsides. They did this practice in order to beautify these graves or to alert the pilgrims to the areas where the dead lay. On their way to keeping the Feast of Passover, they did not want to be defiled through contact with the dead. Jesus referred to the Pharisees in this manner because - on the outside like the "whited sepulchres" they appeared pure and clean - but on the inside, they were filled with death.
In Matthew 23:28, He told them that they were - "full of...iniquity." This came as a great insult to these pretenders of holiness and righteousness.
In Matthew 23:33, He called them - "serpents" and a "generation of vipers." They were as deadly as serpents in that they expressed craft and subtlety and were of a venomous nature. They were a generation of envenomed, enraged, and spiteful adversaries to Him and His ministry.
In Matthew 23:34, He prophesied that they were - "murderers" - because they would "kill" the "prophets," "wise men," and "scribes" that He would send unto them.
In calling these religious leaders all these names, the Lord Jesus did not react in anger or malice toward these opposers. Instead, He declared their true character in hopes that they would come face-to-face with the Truth about themselves and repent.
Are you guilty of calling people names and then justifying it by saying that even Jesus did the same?
He happens to know the character of all men for He reads and knows their hearts.
The question is - Do you?
May God Bless His Word.