One characteristic of Jesus that intrigues me is His confidence in who He was and why He came. When people barraged Him with questions, He was equipped with the knowledge needed to answer. His voice didn’t quiver when He gave an answer. He didn’t have shifty eyes. He didn’t break a sweat.
“The high priest then questioned Jesus about his disciples and his teaching. Jesus answered him, “I have spoken openly to the world. I have always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where all Jews come together. I have said nothing in secret. Why do you ask me? Ask those who have heard me what I said to them; they know what I said.” When he had said these things, one of the officers standing by struck Jesus with his hand, saying, “Is that how you answer the high priest?” Jesus answered him, “If what I said is wrong, bear witness about the wrong; but if what I said is right, why do you strike me?” – John 18:19
Even in the face of death, He didn’t back down. He flipped the script. They expected Him to back down, to cower at the sound of their ridicule and mocking. The last thing they expected Him to do was to stand His ground. He even stood up to His disciples when they tried (with good intention) to protect Him from the Cross. He never ran from the Cross. He ran towards it.
As a disciple of Jesus, He calls us to do the same. He places within us a holy boldness. He enables us to speak His word without flinching. The disciples even prayed for boldness, and God gladly provided it (Acts 4:29). It is by the power of the Holy Spirit that we can do this, not out of our own strength.
Jesus warns us many times the cost & risk of being His disciple and following Him. We must carry our cross. Deny ourselves. Choose Him. Step up, and speak out. There is a sobering verse that reaffirms the seriousness of this call.
“For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.” – Luke 9:26
Our silence can lead to eternal death if we take it too far.
Why do we choose to keep quiet?
- We don’t want to offend anyone or cause conflict. God’s not a troublemaker. He doesn’t want us to constantly be causing a scene. Just because Jesus turned tables over in the Temple doesn’t mean you should make that your main approach. But there will be times when the truth stings or is hard to swallow. Don’t run away from it. It may reap a harvest.
“Even if I caused you sorrow by my letter, I do not regret it. Though I did regret it—I see that my letter hurt you, but only for a little while— yet now I am happy, not because you were made sorry, but because your sorrow led you to repentance. For you became sorrowful as God intended and so were not harmed in any way by us. Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.” – 2 Corinthians 7:8
- We don’t feel qualified or intelligent enough. That is a lie from the enemy. Any thought that negates the power of God within you needs to go! God has equipped you & is waiting for you to be a voice. Don’t let your lack of confidence hush you.
God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.” 1 Corinthians 1:27
It’s an honor for God to want to speak through us to the world. But we must be willing to be used if we want to be a voice. It’s not something to be taken lightly. In the Old Testament, He would give His prophets warnings to prevent something & warn His children. If they weren’t obedient, then the other person’s blood was on the prophet’s hands. There is a huge accountability factor in this equation. You do the math.
Jesus was controversial. He shook things up. He was not politically correct. He was Kingdom minded, doing His Father’s business. We should be following His lead.
“You have the words to change a nation but you keep biting your tongue.” – Emeli