Take a Look
45 When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard Jesus’ parables, they knew he was talking about them. 46 They looked for a way to arrest him, but they were afraid of the crowd because the people held that he was a prophet.
Take a Second
Nelson Mandela once said “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” Former South African President Nelson Mandela has led an inspiring life in so many ways because he learned that we will always deal with fear, especially fear of others, but he never wavered in his belief or his resolve to take action in the face of those fears. In fact, Mandela’s entire life is an ongoing display that fear is a true or false test for our beliefs and convictions. In the face of fear, what we really believe comes out in full color.
During Jesus’ lifetime he faced constant opposition from the chief priests and the Pharisees. They claimed that their sole concern in life was following and obeying God. They claimed that this truth was their highest priority in life. But Jesus claimed the same things. Yet, they denounced him as a blasphemer who was partnering with Satan. This small verse shows the truth. God was not their priority. What people thought of them was their true priority. If they really did think that Jesus was a blasphemer and that obeying God was all that mattered, then they should have sought to have him arrested regardless of what the crowds wanted or thought. They weren’t willing to risk opposition from the crowds for what they claimed to believe but Jesus was willing to go to the cross for what he believed. The contrast couldn’t be more obvious.
What do you claim to believe when it comes to God? Are you willing to seek God with all of your heart and obey him regardless of what is popular or what others think? Are you as passionate for God in the presence of those who aren’t in the family of faith as you are when surrounded by disciples? Have you learned that being courageous in your beliefs does not mean “the absence of fear” but the conviction in your beliefs to “conquer that fear”?
Take some time this week to consider how you may have given in to fear and compromised your beliefs at times in the past. Meditate on 1 John 4:18. How does this verse help you to better understand the fear that we face from the opposition of others and what we can do to overcome that fear?