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The Intolerance of Jesus
George H. Morrison
Our Lord had just performed a notable miracle in healing a man who was possessed of a devil. It had made a profound impression on the people and had forced the conviction that this was indeed Messiah. Unable to dispute the miracle itself, the Pharisees tried to impugn the power behind it, and in their cowardly and treacherous way they suggested that there was something demoniac about Christ. With a readiness of resource which never failed Him, Christ showed in a flash the weakness of that argument. If He was the friend and comrade of the demons, was He likely to make a brother-demon homeless? Then catching fire at these insinuations and moved to righteous anger by these slanders, He said, "He that is not with Me is against Me."
I want, then, to speak for a little while this evening on the intolerance of Jesus Christ. However startling the subject may appear and however the sound of it may jar upon us, I am convinced we shall never understand our Lord if we fail to take account of His intolerance. We have heard much of the geniality of Jesus and of the depth and range of His compassion; nor can we ever exaggerate, in warmest language, the genial and generous aspect of His character. But it is well that the listening ear should be attuned to catch the sterner music of that life, lest, missing it, we miss the fine severity which goes to the perfecting of moral beauty. Wherever the spirit of Jesus is at work, there is found a sweet and masterful intolerance. The one thing that the gospel cannot do is to look with easy good-nature on the world. And if this passionate urgency of claim has ever marked the activities of Christendom, we must try to trace it to the fountainhead and find it in the character of Christ.
Of course there is an intolerance so cold and hard that it must always be alien from the Master's spirit. All that is best in us condemns the temper which lacks the redeeming touch of comprehen ...
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