by Matt Slick
Yes, Jesus said some pretty mean things to people. Following is a list of things He said that were quite harsh. Take a look at these many verses spoken by Jesus.
- Matt. 7:4, "You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye."
- Matt. 15:7, "You hypocrites, rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you, saying, 8 ‘This people honors Me with their lips, But their heart is far away from Me." 9 ‘But in vain do they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.’”
- Matt. 23:13, "But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you shut off the kingdom of heaven from men; for you do not enter in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in."
- Matt. 23:15, "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites . . . "
- Matt. 23:16-17, "Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘Whoever swears by the temple, that is nothing; but whoever swears by the gold of the temple, he is obligated.’ 17 “You fools and blind men; which is more important, the gold, or the temple that sanctified the gold?"
- Matt. 23:23-24, "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others. 24 “You blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!"
- Matt. 23:25, "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!"
- Matt. 23:27-28, "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. 28 "Even so you too outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness."
- Matt. 23:29, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!"
- Matt. 23:33, "You serpents, you brood of vipers, how shall you escape the sentence of hell?"
- Mark 12:38-40, "Beware of the scribes who like to walk around in long robes, and like respectful greetings in the market places, 39 and chief seats in the synagogues, and places of honor at banquets, 40 who devour widows’ houses, and for appearance’s sake offer long prayers; these will receive greater condemnation."
- Luke 11:39, "You foolish ones, did not He who made the outside make the inside also?"
- Luke 11:43, "Woe to you Pharisees! For you love the front seats in the synagogues, and the respectful greetings in the market places. 44 “Woe to you! For you are like concealed tombs, and the people who walk over them are unaware of it."
- Luke 11:52, "Woe to you lawyers! For you have taken away the key of knowledge; you did not enter in yourselves, and those who were entering in you hindered."
- Luke 12:1, "Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy."
- John 8:44, "You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father . . . "
- John 8:49, "I do not have a demon; but I honor My Father, and you dishonor Me."
- John 8:55, "and you have not come to know Him, but I know Him; and if I say that I do not know Him, I shall be a liar like you, but I do know Him, and keep His word."
It is obvious that Jesus, who is God in flesh, the great loving teacher, also said some pretty harsh things to people. He called them hypocrites, fools, blind people, blind guides, whitewashed tombs, lawless, of their father the devil, and liars.
Why would Jesus be so harsh to people? He did this because He hated their sin and despised those who hindered others from coming to a saving relationship with Him. Remember, saying harsh things to people is not wrong, but what is said needs to be true and tempered with wisdom. We need to be careful when we speak harshly, and we need to attempt to be loving and kind whenever possible. But it is not wrong in and of itself to speak the truth when dealing with peoples' rebellion against God.