Jesus found himself surrounded by hostility even in his own home. His brothers did not believe in him. Apparently they were embarrassed by Jesus. They prodded him to leave home in Galilee and go to the big city, to Jerusalem, so that he could impress the world with his miracles and teaching.
Jerusalem was a dangerous place for Jesus. Like Jesus’ brothers, the religious leaders did not believe in him. He was a threat to their positions of power and privilege. They were looking for a way to eliminate Jesus before he could build up a big following among the people. These were the very men who would eventually scheme to have him crucified.
And the people! The people were hopelessly divided in their opinions about Jesus. Those who were sympathetic toward Jesus stayed silent out of fear. They knew that the leaders were against Jesus and they did not want to endanger themselves. As a result, Jesus had very few, if any, who would help him or come to his defense.
It would have been easier for Jesus to lay low and keep quiet. He could avoid the conflict and keep himself safe from harm. Jesus did not act foolishly, but neither did he back down. He went to Jerusalem and he courageously and publicly continued to speak the truth. He obeyed God and great things happened.
It would be easier for us to lay low and keep quiet in a world that is increasingly hostile toward Bible-believing followers of Jesus Christ. But we should do as Jesus did. We should not unnecessarily seek out conflict, but neither should we back down out of fear.
Like Jesus, we can trust God and courageously fulfill our mission in this age: to make disciples of all nations and to grow toward spiritual maturity. Let’s reaffirm our commitment to unapologetically serve the Lord. Let’s obey our Lord and we will see great things happen.
Brother Richard Foster, Pastor
Grace Baptist Church, Camden, AR