One of the lawyers answered him, “Teacher, in saying these things you insult us also.” And he said, “Woe to you lawyers also! For you load people with burdens hard to bear, and you yourselves do not touch the burdens with one of your fingers.” (Luke 11:45–46, ESV)

The word that the ESV translates “insult” is the Greek word ὑβρίζω (hybrizo), it comes down to English from the Greek in the form of the word “hubris.”  In the Greek it means “to treat in an insolent manner.”  The lawyers(experts in the law)–who generally opposed Christ–complain that Jesus is insulting them by his words.

Jesus’ response:  He speaks directly to the lawyers and it isn’t pretty.  “You load people with burdens hard to bear, and you yourselves do not touch the burdens with one of your fingers.”  Ouch!  Talking about an insult.  That would do it. It’s as if Jesus thinks that they need to be insulted, or to put it more correctly, they need to be shocked out of the assumption that they are right with God because of their strict adherence to the law.

When is an insult not an insult?  When it’s purpose is to draw people to faith.  Sometimes we have to treat people with what appears to be harshness in order to get their blind eyes open.  These are usually self-righteous people.

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