Matthew 11:20-24 / Luke 10:13-15…
So what does it do for your picture of the gentle Jesus to see Him here denouncing whole cities? He is saying to them, “shame on you for not repenting”. The reason they should have been repenting is because they had seen Him perform many mighty works in their presence. Jesus is pointing out the ingratitude of people who could know Him but who refuse to change.
It can be hard for us to know when we should just “tell it like it is” in the sternest and clearest terms possible, but sometimes we must indeed do it. It is the loving thing to do when people choose destruction over deliverance. This is evident when someone refuses to repent even after being shown so much mercy and grace. There are many who seemed to be among the faithful at one time, even fervently so, but they have now seemed to turn their backs on God and His people (Hebrews 6:4-6 / 1 John 2:19). They may say the right things at times, but it is only from a previous knowledge, it is not from the heart.
True love allows as much space as possible for repentance, but true love is concerned with carelessness, casualness, and warns of the coming calamity for those who are in danger by their direction (Proverbs 28:13-14). Jesus is the embodiment of God’s love, but that means He must stand up for what is right (1 Corinthians 13:6), and warn those who presume upon God’s grace (Romans 2:4), those who forget it (2 Peter 1:9), or those who ignore it in their ingratitude altogether (Hebrews 2:3).
If we want to be like Him, we should tell the truth.