To believe in or to believe that is the question
Bible Version Ė KJV
The Tough Love of Jesus
Love for the most part is seen as gentle and kind. Many donít seem to want to see the other side of it as if it doesnít exist. They will proclaim God is Love, yet ignore the other aspect of it which the scriptures speak clearly on and the benefits of it (Deuteronomy 8:5; Psalms 94:11-12; Proverbs 3:11, 12). Do we not claim to be children or even sons and daughters? And if so then we should not be surprised if we as chastised for our wrongs we do, for God does so for because of Love and to turn us from what is bad. To rebel against such correction we will lose that Blessing which David speaks of in Psalms 94:12.
So in like manner Jesus being Godís only begotten son showed a lot of his Fathersí qualities as well as his humanity when it came to what I call Tough Love. We know of Jesusí more gentle and kindly love through the healings he performed and his desire save all that he could especially you can see that in Matthew 23:37. I have heard much on that part of Jesusí love, but I want to show the importance of his Tough Love towards us and that itís just as important to us as is the gentle love.
Before I get started I want to share a couple of questions we must ask ourselves that I feel might have been part of and behind Jesusí Tough Love towards those back then as well as he may have towards us even now. Question 1 Ė Do you believe in God? This will seem easy to answer. Question 2 Ė Do you Believe God? This one seems easy but implies more than the first and which was the one that gives his disciples, the Pharisees and Sadducees and even us today.
Now we will first look at an account of Jesusí Tough Love toward his own disciples. In Matthew 17:14-21; Mark 9:14-29; Luke 9:37-43 you will read the same account in all three books. Jesus isnít being mean but is trying to bring across the importance of the situation, since it seems the disciples are still working on the believing part. Jesus goes on and explains what he said to them so they would learn and hopefully take it to heart. Especially before this account happened Jesus had given them authority to do things such as we had read (Matthew 10:1; Mark 6:7 and Luke 9:1).
Later in Mark 16:17, 18 Jesus tells us what those that BELIEVE would be able to do. Again BELIEVING is very important in what we can accomplish in our life not just believing IN.
Oh and another reason that would make Jesus a little frustrated with his own disciples as well as his people would be these two recorded accounts (Matthew 8:5-10; John 4:25-26, 39-42). Here are people that have not known nor spent time with Jesus as his own disciples and people, but believe Jesus with greater faith.
Now let us look at the Pharisees, Sadducees and others, who unlike his disciples that were not educated for the most part in scriptures. These were educated theologians that should have had greater insight and understanding of scriptures but fall short in both cases. The more someone knows or was supposed to know, like in the cases of the Pharisees and Sadducees, the stronger the rebuke Jesus would give (Luke13:32; Matthew 12:34; 23:1-36 focus more on 13-36 due to time; Luke 11:37-54; John 8:41-47). Jesus gave out even a stronger rebuke when it came to something directly relating to his Father (John 2:14-17). You will notice in Mark 11:11, 12 and 15 that Jesus had left and came back the following day after making the scourge of small cords mentioned in John. From all of this some might have learned and even changed their ways because of the rebukes that Jesus gave. Just like his father Jesus desires all to make it and non to parish (John 3:15-17). Nicodemus was one that though being brought up like the rest of the Pharisees he desired to know the truth and change. There could have been others as well which are not recorded. Luke 7:36-50 and Mark 12:28-34 shows that there were some that might have been more interested in what Jesus was saying.
In closing let us read John 8:55. Jesusí response is the perfect answer to the questions. We must ask ourselves then, do we only believe in God or do we believe God and can we say as Jesus did at the end of that verse.
†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† I know Him and Keep His saying.
Even John the Baptist used Tough Love when he dealt with the people that had come to be baptized (Luke 3:7).
One in particular that I can still feel Jesusí zeal while reading this and the frustration with these Pharisees (Sadducees might have been present as well) that should know better and be accepting of this gospel that Jesus is trying to bring across to the people (Mark 3:1-6).