In the gospels quite a few statements of the jews are phrased in such strong terms that they cannot be taken literally as they are hyperboles or exaggerations. For example, in Mt. 7:4 Jesus used this form of speech as in “How dare you say to your brother, ‘Please let me take that speck out of your eye, when you have a log in your own eye.'” They are very strong statements that intend to bring truth home in a way that people will never forget . In some theological utterances of our Lord one can find this hyperbolic way of speaking.
Then answered Jesus and said unto them, ‘Verily, verily I say unto you, the son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do for what things soever he doeth these also doeth the son likewise. For the Father loveth the son and sheweth him all things that himself doeth and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel (Jn. 5: 19-20 ).
Idiomatic expressions are scattered everywhere in the four gospels. ‘Generation’ is one such word found in the Gospels. In Mt. 12: 39 he says
But he answered and said unto them, an evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign, and there shall be no sign to give to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas.
When Jesus says ‘this generation’, He means His contemporaries.
There are many figures of speech used to describe the nature of the work of Christ. The language of the Gospels is often simple but its thought is profound.