I hate the N word. The rage it contains, regardless of who says it or how it’s spoken, pierces my heart and make me want to throw up! It is aimed to hurl hurt, harm, and ridicule. Its intent is to make someone feel like less of a person than others.
And yet, Jesus said that if we call someone, “You Fool!” we are guilty of murder in our heart. Fool? Really?
“Fool” seems so tame compared with the variety of awful words we call each other, or even ourselves. But that’s because Jesus, always, always aimed for the heart.
“For out of the heart come evil thoughts–murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander.”
He knew if it wasn’t “Fool” it would be something else. It could be the N word, or the b word, or a whole collection of words connected with the F word somewhere or how. There are so many creative ways to call someone a Fool. How scary and dark the caverns where we mine words to tear down another person.
James, the brother of Jesus, shared this dilemma and disgust in his letter:
“…no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be!” James 3:8-11
It should not be!
And that’s not all.
How did you read that? If I put an exclamation point after it, would it change the meaning?
Jesus Christ is the name of my Lord and Saviour, God’s precious Son, the only mediator between God and man, my Creator, Beloved redeemer, the one in whom I place all my hopes and fears, and very life.
Yet, JC is written into movie and television scripts with the same frequency as the f or gd or the b word. And even if someone doesn’t believe he was God or “all that,” why do they yell his name when their finger gets slammed in the car door?
Jesus Christ is daily mocked through the slanderous use of his name. So how does He feel about that? Is he surprised?
Not really. Nothing surprises Him, especially not our sordid behavior or our ridiculous, slanderous words. In fact, the Psalmist actually predicted it ages ago:
“When I put on sackcloth, people make sport of me. Those who sit at the gate mock me, and I am the song of the drunkards.” Psalm 69: 12
So Jesus knew his name would be used maliciously. But it doesn’t change who He is.
“Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name. That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth” Philippians 2:9-10
While for some, his name is a curse word on their lips, for others—for me—Jesus is the name above all names. And someday, no matter how we say it now, we will all bow in hushed reverence at His name.
Back to the heart.
Is JC a mockery word for you? If he was just a man, why His name?
Emotions, words, actions. Where will our words take us? What do they say about us?
Parting thoughts from Jesus Christ himself:
“A good man out of the good treasure of the heart brings forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things. But I say to you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by your words you shall be justified, and by your words you shall be condemned.” Matthew 12:35-37