There is much to learn from how Jesus dealt with the narcissists of His day, the Pharisees (see here and here on how we know the Pharisees were Narcissists, scoffers filled with insolent pride.) It is instructive as to what He did and said in His dealings with them, but also what did not do, and did not say. It is very interesting that in some cases, rather than trying to defend against the narcissists’ actions, He put His focus on ministering to those whom the narcissists “hurt”. Here are a couple of examples: .
Example 1 (to get the whole picture read all of John 9)
22 His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jews; for the Jews [narcissists] had already agreed that if anyone confessed Him to be Christ, he was to be put out of the synagogue. (Note: a classic narcissist tactic is to attempt to isolate and destroy any perceived “ally” of the narcissists’ enemy)
It continues in John 9:34-38
34 They answered him, “You were born entirely in sins, and are you teaching us?” [Note: Pharisee arrogance on display] So they put him out. 35 Jesus heard that they had put him out, and finding him, He said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” 36 He answered, “Who is He, Lord, that I may believe in Him?” 37 Jesus said to him, “You have both seen Him, and He is the one who is talking with you.” 38 And he said, “Lord, I believe.” And he worshiped Him.
10 Then it happened that as Jesus was reclining at the table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and were dining with Jesus and His disciples. 11 When the Pharisees saw this, they said to His disciples, “Why is your Teacher eating with the tax collectors and sinners?”12 But when Jesus heard this, He said, “It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick. 13 But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire compassion, and not sacrifice,’ for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”
By making this comment to Jesus’ disciples, the narcissistic Pharisees were actively undermining the disciples’ confidence in Jesus. When Jesus heard what they said He could have just ignored the narcissists’ snide remark, but didn’t. Jesus disciples needed to be protected from the Pharisees’ attempt, so He took on their statement. His statement that He came to call sinners, not the righteous countered the Pharisees attack, but also added some instruction to it. He helped His disciples understand that He was here to genuinely help those in need, and doing things much differently than the Pharisees.
* Narcissist is the modern colloquial term for what the Bible calls “insolent pride” please see here for an explanation