These are some words Jesus never said: idiot, pancakes, thermostat, electricity, or debit. And he never said: “What are you, crazy?!” or “I don’t have time for this.”
He never took his own name in vain, or anyone else’s either. He never built a better mousetrap. He never bought low and sold high.
Jesus said many things. We have heard them all but have we heard what he didn’t say? Jesus said, “It is finished.” But Jesus never said, “You’re finished.” Jesus asked, “Who do you say that I am?” But he never asked, “Who do you think you are?” Jesus wondered if the Son of Man would find faith on the earth. But he never doubted his own love for us. There are many words that Jesus spoke. There are many he never said.
Jesus never said degenerate or despicable or miscreant or miserable. He never spoke of being faint-hearted or lily-livered or weak-kneed or bull-headed, not even of those who failed him. Jesus never spoke so many words that we hear from day to day. He never said mortgage, or internet, or reality tv. He never said Democrat or Republican, or right wing or left. Words like conservative or liberal never crossed his lips.
But he did say the word love an awful lot; and servant, and follow. He taught about Baptism and told us to do it. He taught about the Good News and told us to spread it. He even taught us about his Body and Blood and told us to share it. He never approved a budget. He never mentioned the diocese. He never uttered such words as transubstantiation, assumption, substitutionary death, orthodox, incarnation, theophany, soteriology, Christology, or ecclesiology. He never said any of these words. Aren’t we glad, even secretly, that he didn’t?
But of all the words he had to say and all the words he never said, of all the thoughts he expressed and sentiments and wisdom and teachings and truths he spoke, he never said good-bye to those who followed him. He never said good-bye. He never said good-bye.