N our modern society, it is evident that many individuals have a strong bend either toward conservatism or liberalism. Politically, yes! But also, philosophically, morally & theologically: the world seems to be divided rather distinctly. But this is not God's way. Admittedly, there are times & places for both perspectives. God is the author of both law & grace. It seems that what God wants in us is neither constant conservatism (structure) nor unconscious liberalism (openness); He wants us to be full of wisdom. "Let your moderation be known unto all men" (Philippians 4:5). There is always an appropriate response to every situation (compare Proverbs 11:25 & Ecclesiastes 8:11). Balance; the golden mean – this is the goal. But, only one man has ever exemplified this perfect demeanor: Christ!
Here in Matthew 11 we can find a perfect presentation of justice and mercy. Truth begins and ends with God. So, as Jesus passed judgment (so to speak) on John, Elijah, Chorazin, Bethsaida, Capernaum, Tyre, Sidon, Sodom, Jews in general and us, we find 2 different types of words. Some of Christ's words were gentle and pregnant with compassion. Other words were rigidly condemning. Yet all His words were true AND appropriate. They fit perfectly with God's character & purpose. John the Baptist needed reassurance, confirmation & affirmation: Christ gave it to him. We need forgiveness, hope, direction & acceptance: He offers these things to us. Rebels, critics, religious sinners & passive unbelievers need a dose of hard cold truth to culture the fear of God in their hearts: Jesus served that up too.