Article - A “Striking” Aspect of Kindness (part 1)

“Let the righteous strike me; it shall be a kindness. And let him rebuke me; it shall be as excellent oil; let not my head refuse it” (Psalm 141:5). The Bible teaches that it is a kindness for a righteous person to rebuke/correct another. In fact, the New Testament uses three different words to express the idea of rebuking: First, rebuke is used in the sense of shaming or disgracing. For example, Jesus showed a kindness by rebuking the inhabitants of Capernaum and their surrounding cities for not repenting after they had witnessed a great number of Jesus’ mighty works and heard His preaching (Matthew 11:20-24). Furthermore, Jesus rebuked His apostles because they did not believe the testimony of those who saw Jesus after He was raised from the dead (Mark 16:12-14; also, study 2 Thessalonians 3:14). Second, rebuke is used in the sense of reproving, censuring severely or admonishing. For example, Jesus showed a kindness by rebuking Peter and calling him “Satan” (adversary) for setting his mind on human rather than godly things (Mark 8:27-33; Luke 9:18-22; Jesus also rebuked James and John in Luke 9:51-56). Rebuking is a way for a disciple of Christ to be kind to a brother who sins against him (Luke 17:3). Third, rebuke is used in the sense of exposing or convincing someone of his error and correcting someone. For example, God shows kindness by correcting His sons and Jesus shows kindness by rebuking those whom He loves (Hebrews 12:5-6, 9; Revelation 3:19). John the Immerser showed kindness by rebuking King Herod for being an adulterer (Luke 3:18-20). Rebuking is a way for a disciple of Christ to expose unfruitful works of darkness and is an essential element of the evangelist’s preaching and the elders’ shepherding (Matthew 18:15; 1 Timothy 5:17-20; Ephesians 5:11; 2 Timothy 4:2; Titus 1:9, 13; 2:15; also, Proverbs 27:5; Ecclesiastes 7:5).


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