Words and their meaning fascinate me. Take the word scold. Did you know that it does not once appear in the King James Version of the Bible? Now, if you were to look for related words in an extensive thesaurus, you would find such words as, reproach, rebuke, reprove,admonish, and denounce, among others. These five related words do appear in the KJV, but did you know that of all of these the only one that was tied to Jesus was the word rebuke? The Gospels tell of Christ rebuking the wind, Satan, demons, even some sicknesses, but did you know that only on two occasions did Jesus rebuke his disciples? With Peter, it was in Mark 8:38 because his words were inspired by Satan, and with James and John in Luke 9:55, because they wanted to send down fire from Heaven to destroy those who rejected Him.
You may wonder, "so, what is the point?" The point is that if Jesus seldom scolded anyone, why is it that we see so much of it in church and among the people of God? We’ve probably all seen pastors scold their congregation, and perhaps even members scolding their pastor. I’ve heard some rebukes myself and have felt the tip of somebody’s pointing finger touching my nose. We’ve seen spouses scolding their mate, parents doing it publicly to their children, even adults scolding their elderly parents. To me, scolding shows a lack of respect, especially among adults, and it was never a part of Jesus’ character. Isaiah depicted Him as a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief, (53:3) and added he would not even break a bruised reed. (42:3) Slipups and disagreements are inevitable. They will appear in church becauseeveryone of its members is imperfect, and that includes all pastors and teachers. Nevertheless, I pray that we will remember that it is much more productive and Christ honoring to correct others with love, compassion and respect, not with harsh words. And to bore you again my dear brethren with this often used line of mine, “C’mon, we’re better than that.”
Memory verse for the week: (Isaiah 41:10) So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.