(This is Bible study #7 in our series: Was Jesus a Liberal?)
It is common for untaught people to think of Jesus as a wishy-washy, milk-toast, weak, effeminate type of person who never got angry and never raised His voice. Certainly, Christ was “meek” (Matt. 11:29), but meekness is not weakness. While He displayed gentleness to those who were hurting, he exhibited righteous anger towards those who peddled false doctrines. At times, His words were harsh and critical because He could not tolerate doctrinal error. He was a defender of the truth and made it crystal clear that false teaching was something worth fighting against.
Several illustrations in the New Testament help us understand the real Jesus:
•To those who offend small children (cause them to abandon their faith in Jesus) He gave a strong rebuke. He said they ought to have a millstone tied around their necks and be drowned in the sea. We saw this harsh language in an earlier study. What does this teach us about the liberal professors in our universities who think it’s their job to re-educate students away from what their parents have taught them to a new anti-Christian philosophy?
•To the money changers in the temple who had turned the “house of prayer” into a den of thieves, Jesus showed great righteous indignation. He went on a rampage, and not only overturned their tables, but made a whip and drove them out! He could not tolerate such abuses of “His Father’s house” (see John 2).
•To the self-righteous Pharisees who had added 51 rules and regulations to the Old Testament laws, Jesus used the most critical language of all. He called them hypocrites, whitened sepulchers, fools, blind guides, and a generation of vipers (read Matthew 23). His allegiance to the Word of God was so strong that He castigated anyone who replaced it with their own opinions, interpretations, traditions, and preferences.
•To the false teachers of His day Jesus called them “wolves in sheep’s clothing”.
You see, there is something God hates. False doctrine. At His trial, Jesus told Pilate: “To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into this world, that I should bear witness unto the TRUTH” (John 18:37).
On the night before He died, Jesus told His disciples in the upper room: “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No man comes to the Father but by Me” (John 14:6). During His life on earth, He was “full of grace”, but He was also “full of truth” (John 1:14). There is only one truth and it is found in a person, Jesus Christ.
Liberals like to tell us that things that were truth long ago should no longer be regarded as truth, that morality is relative, that there are no real absolutes. Times have changed, they say, and so should our views on morality. The problem with their logic is simple: God never changes. People may change, society may change, man’s moral standards may change, but God never changes. “I am the Lord, I change not” (Mal. 3:6). “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Heb. 13:8). “Forever, O Lord, thy Word is settled in heaven” (Psa. 119:89).
Progressive liberals want us to conform to their views, yea, they force their agenda on us. The Judeo-Christian ethic has served our nation well for the past two centuries. Why do we allow a vocal minority of radicals to dictate to us what our standards should be? Their motto is: “Don’t force your morality on us”, but then they go right ahead and force their morality (or lack thereof) on us!
Thank God that through salvation in Jesus Christ, a person knows the Truth. “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free” (John 8:32).