Michael Bauman has lots of good thoughts. Here's a snippet from his work on a theology of invective:
We Christians rightly recognize Christ as the very embodiment of love. But Christ was no bleeding heart, and He was no invertebrate. The “gentle Jesus meek and mild” never existed. He is a nineteenth and twentieth century fiction. The historical Jesus was another matter altogether. At various times, and when the situation demanded, the real Jesus publicly denounced sinners as snakes, dogs, foxes, hypocrites, fouled tombs and dirty dishes. He actually referred publicly to one of his chief disciples as Satan. So that his hearers would not miss his point, He sometimes referred to the objects of his most intense ridicule both by name and by position, and often face to face....See the rest here.
The objection raised by the invertebrates that Jesus spoke aggressively only to self-righteous Pharisees simply misses the point. Any sinner who rejects repentance, or any sinner who holds repentance at bay because he somehow believes it is not for him, is self-righteous.