Summary: Out of the mouths of mockers there comes praise.


Muhammad Ali was master of taunting his opponents. He would taunt them before the match and during the match. He is credited with saying some of the following.

"Float like a butterfly.

Sting like a bee.

Your hands can’t hit

what your eyes can’t see.”

“If you even dream of beating me you’d better wake up and apologize.

"He has two chances. Slim and none, and slim’s just left town." Ali taunted Foreman in the ring during the Rumble In The Jungle. "Come on Champ, you can do better than that. They told me you were a big hitter?"

"That all you got, George?" Ali whispered into George Foreman’s ear in a late round during the match.

The bragging and taunting that mars so many sports today can be traced directly to the antics of Ali. Ali is to blame for the trash-talking that goes on in sports today.

Now, nobody likes to be ridiculed, mocked, or taunted by others. However, to be taunted while you are dying is indeed a manifestation of deep depravity

The death of Christ was it the greatest tragedy or the greatest triumph?

“He saved others; Himself He cannot save.”

“If He be king of the Israel, let Him come down from the cross.”

“He trusted in God; let Him deliver Him now, if he will have him: for he said, I am the Son of God.”

These brutal taunts have lessons for us. They witnessed to what His claims were. Jesus asserted Himself

to be a worker of miracles, the Messiah-King of Israel, the Son of God, and yet here He is dying.

Their scoffing witness to the misconceptions which were found in the minds of so many of that day.

Was it not conceivable that a man who possessed such miraculous power would use it to deliver Himself?

Could it be possible that, if there was a Father at

all, that He should leave a man that really trusted in Him, not to say one who claimed to be His Son, to die like this?

The facts were seen, but their relation was twisted.

Here were taunts turned into a testimony!

Out of the mouths of mockers there comes praise.

The rocks that are cast at the Jesus in reality are roses presented to Him.

I. Their words were a taunt about ABILITY; however, the Cross shows us the Saviour who would not save Himself.

The priests did not believe in Christ’s miracles, and they thought that this was the final token of His inability. To them this was a clear proof that the miracles were tricks and deception.

They saw the two things; and they misunderstood the relation between them.

They had seen Jesus by His word calm the storm, and hush the winds by His word. They had behold Him multiplied bread, turned water into wine. They had seen Him speak to the dead and out of the grave came the dead, stumbling and entangled in the grave-clothes.

All this they had seen; however, here is this passive, and impotent man who hangs as a helpless victim of the Roman soldiers and Jewish priests.

The easy solution to this apparent contradiction was to deny the reality of the miracles? He never worked one, or He would definitely be working one now.

However, let their error lead us into truth. “He saved others,” that is certain. He did not “save Himself,” that is also certain.

Was the explanation a matter of “cannot” as they supposed. The priests by “cannot” meant physical impossibility, defect of power, inability. They were


However, there is a profound sense in which the word “cannot” is absolutely true.

The impossibility was purely the result of His own WILLING AND LOVING HEART

The “cannot” did not come from a lack of power, but from a love that was plenteous.

No man taketh his life from Him. He gave His live willingly.

It was not because He could not, but because He would not. The truth is “cannot” was a “will not.” It was NOT THE nails that fastened Him to the tree; He was fixed there by His own steadfast will. He died because He would. if we rightly understand the “cannot” we may take up with thankfulness the taunt which, as I say,

is tuned to a testimony, and reiterate adoringly, “He saved others, Himself He cannot save.” It is because He would save others that He could not saved Himself.

II. Their words were a taunt about His SOVERIGNITY; however, the Cross shows us the King on His throne.

To the priests it seemed ludicrous to suppose that a King of Israel should, by Israel, be nailed upon the cross. Again they saw the two facts, and they misunderstood their relation.

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