In Luke 12, when Jesus says what the master will do to the wicked servant — “He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the unbelievers” — I can’t turn this around by saying, “Jesus is really saying, I will never stop loving you.”
In John 6, Jesus preaches a sermon so hardcore that every single follower except the appointed twelve end up leaving him. Jesus asks the remaining dozen, “Do you want to leave too?” I don’t see this in any church growth books or discipleship workshops.
In Matthew 10, Jesus says plainly with zero disclaimers: “I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law — a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.” I don’t see a hidden meaning in this passage. He said what he meant; he meant what he said.
If you’ve ever really read the Sermon on the Mount, it’s absolutely horrifying. Whether you believe Jesus was real or not, it completely clashes against all our notions of a sheep-petting, halo-wearing, perfect-teeth Jesus.
Can we try to let Jesus speak for himself?
— J.S. from What the Church Won’t Talk About