So here is my hypothesis: Jesus was simply a mirror.
Jesus simply mirrored people’s judgment back onto themselves. “For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” It was almost as if all these religious leaders and Pharisaical types were emitting horrendous rays of judgment and contempt towards “those sinners”. All Jesus simply did was stand in front of their judgments, and, much like a mirror, reflect their ugliness — their hate-filled words, actions and judgments — back at them.
For instance, it was common for them to tell people they were going to Gehenna. Jesus reflected their words back onto them saying, “You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of Gehenna as you are.” (ouch!) Time and time again you see Jesus simply mirroring people’s judgments back against themselves. The woman caught in adultery is another example that comes to my mind, among many. (I invite you to share in the comments other examples you find). With the same measure they judged others, he threw it back in their face. He revealed and allowed them to feel their darkness. And they did not like that.
(It is important to note that Jesus never mirrored back the harsh things said against him personally. In fact, even on the cross, he forgave those who hurt and mocked him. He only mirrored judgments imposed on others).
But he was a mirror in another way as well. He mirrored God’s love, healing, and restoration towards those who felt they least deserved it. Those who were being judged and condemned by the previously mentioned self-proclaimed judges, were the very ones Jesus embraced with God’s favor. Time and time again this pattern shows up in the Gospels. Jesus mirroring love towards sinners.
So as followers of Jesus, we too should simply be mirrors. We don’t need to judge other people…it is not our place. But we can simply be mirrors, standing in between the judges and their condemned, reflecting their words and measure of judgment back onto them. We then turn the mirror around towards the “condemned” and mirror God’s embrace of them.
Keep in mind, however, that Jesus also taught us to love our enemies — those who take an enemy stance towards us and declare us their enemy. We are not to return the cursed title of enemy, but instead the title of beloved. We are to be humble mirror holders who love all that our mirrors face.
But be warned. It may not fare to well for us mirror holders. It might mean a cross.
But it might also mean a Kingdom.