Text: “And I (Jesus) say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will forewarn you Whom ye shall fear: fear Him (the Lord God), which after He hath killed hath power to cast into Hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear Him.”
Good morning, naturally timid Christian! You have always possessed a sweet and timid human nature; you think you have few enemies; you never seek to do harm to another soul; and, naturally, you never seek confrontation with others. Those who are naturally timid, sweet-natured folk, seldom receive threatening and abuse as a consequence. But should they?
The time has come - in this apostate and perilous 21st Century - when such naturally timid Christians should get a little more angry at the state of things around us. It is time to speak out boldly in the service of King Jesus.
Quote: If you can keep your head, when all others around you are losing theirs - perhaps you have lost a sharp sense of reality! Dr C.K.McClinton.
“Wherefore putting away lying speak every man/woman truth with his/her neighbour; for we are members one of another. Be ye angry, and sin NOT; let not the sun go down upon your wrath; neither give place to the Devil.” (Ephesians 4:25-27)
Fear was all around the Master as He (Jesus) ‘…stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst let him come unto Me and drink. He that believeth (trusteth) on Me, as the Scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.’ (John 7:37-38)
The fear of man was, no doubt, keeping many unsaved souls from coming to Christ and receiving Eternal Salvation. Many were saving their mortal skin, but losing their immortal souls! It is terrible what fear of man will do!
Yet, Jesus was, is, and always shall be God of very God. Thus, the fear of God was also graciously present on that day at the Feast of the Tabernacles.
“And some of them would have taken (arrested) Him; but no man laid hands on Him.” (V.44) “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; but fools despise instruction.” (Proverbs 1:7)
The officers’ failure to arrest Christ Jesus, as they had been earlier instructed by the Pharisees - the religious leaders of the day - caused an immediate division in the ranks of Christ’s enemies. The Pharisees desired to take Jesus off the streets, but the officers were understandably afraid to do so. They had no doubt arrested and imprisoned many at the behest of these same hypocritical Pharisees - but there was something much different about this Jesus. The fear of God came upon the officers concerning Him.
“Then came the officers to the chief priests and Pharisees; and they said unto them, Why have ye not brought Him? The officers answered, Never man spake like this
Man.” (V. 45-46)
The lowly officers were proven to be far more Spiritually discerning than the so-called religious priests and Pharisees. The fear of God that the officers displayed was instantly ridiculed by the Spiritually dead priests and Pharisees - a most dangerous practice indeed. ‘All that glitters is NOT gold!’
The Pharisees were so incensed against God the Son, Christ Jesus, that they began to mock the Godly fear of the officers. Unbelief always leads to sin!
“Then answered them the Pharisees, Are ye also deceived? Have any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed on Him? But this people who knowest not the Law are cursed.” (Vs.47-49)
These two verses, above quoted, expose the threefold depth of the Pharisees’ unbelief and Spiritual blindness:
1. They had no fear of God, due to lack of Spiritual discernment. (1 Corinthians 2:14) (Matthew 23:13)
2. They publicly revealed a deep disbelief among the majority of Pharisees and religious rulers of the day. (Matthew 23:14) (Ephesians 2:8-9)
3. Their utter hypocrisy was revealed, for they pronounced their own Eternal judgement from out of their own mouths - the knew not the Spiritual import of the Law, and thus they were, indeed, Eternally cursed. (Matthew 23:15)
Nicodemus, himself a chief Pharisee, finally spoke out in the service of his Saviour, Christ Jesus. (V.50-51) There can be no ’secret Christians’ in the service of King Jesus. We all must give an account of our witness for Him.
‘Every man went unto his own house.’ (Verse 53) Some to Heaven, some to Hell?
Thought: God-fearing souls must stand up, and speak out for Christ!