The thing that impresses me about God’s speech in a self-confessed stutterer like Moses or in the witness of an incriminated rabbi like Jesus is not so much the fearlessness, but the humility of the communication. Yahweh God deliberately utters speech from a place of disempowerment. God’s speech in Jesus is shrewd and risk-taking, yes; but it is also strikingly humble, willing to be disadvantaged to the point of silence, the point of death. This communication is parrhesia because it is free to die. We might even say that Jesus, as the speech of God, talks himself to the death of the cross.
I am struck by the contrast between this self-giving witness and the self-protective blaring of our time across the cable networks and the relentless waves of talk radio. But are there ever times when our everyday speech, yours and mine, lacks the generosity, the frankness, the fullness, and the freedom of God’s speech? Sure. Any time we are indifferent to the faults in our own selves, or in our own group, and unwilling to acknowledge the wisdom in other people’s positions. Recognizing both those realities is itself a gift of God’s free speech to us in Christ.