You may be thinking, “Matthew, the answer is obvious. Of course, Jesus had a spine. He had a human body.” Others get where I am going with this. Have you ever heard someone being referred to as “spineless”? This means that they lack courage to say what needs to be said and take necessary action. I know the popular trend is to portray Jesus as this weak guy that went easy on everybody, but that is not the Jesus of the Bible.
You may say, “Matthew, why would you say such a thing? Jesus is all about some love.” This is true, but John 1:14 says He is “full of grace AND truth”. If He is full of truth, what do you think will come out of His mouth? Flattery? Southern charm? A good old “bless your heart”? Let’s look first at how He responded in an intolerable situation.
“Then Jesus went into the temple of God and drove out all those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves. And He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a ‘den of thieves’” (Matthew 21:12-13 NKJV). Did you notice what Jesus did? He turned over tables and told the money changers that they had turned His house into a den of thieves. Southerners in America might say that wasn’t good manners. Jesus had the authority, didn’t He?
Let’s look now at some things He called the scribes and Pharisees.
1. Ye blind guides (Matt. 23:16).
2. Ye fools (Matt. 23:17).
3. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees…for ye are like whited supulchres…full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness (Matt. 23:27).
4. Ye serpents (Matt. 23:33).
5. Ye generation of vipers (Matt. 23:33).
6. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! (Luke 11:44).
7. Ye are as graves which appear not (Luke 11:44).
He was dealing with religious people who did not want any part of Him. Once again, I can hear you say, “Jesus shouldn’t be name calling.” He is God. He knows the hearts of people, so what He says is truth.
While Jesus is a compassionate Savior, He has no tolerance for sin. People are quick to quote Jesus for saying that those who are without sin should cast the first stone, yet they skip the end when He told the adulterous woman to “go and SIN NO MORE”.
Jesus isn’t spineless. He is very much confrontational. I didn’t say He was hateful. I said that He speaks against what is wrong while meeting them where they are. May we not shy away from speaking the truth in love because we have a weak, unbiblical view of the real Jesus.