“All of these conversations took place in whispers. No one was willing to speak openly about Jesus for fear of the religious leaders.” John 7:13 (VOICE)
Safe ears to speak to are treasures on this earth. Another person to embrace our mess and point us back to grace is soothing balm to the soul.
In today’s verse, finding safe ears to speak of Jesus were a matter of life and death. Early followers of Jesus sacrificed much to stand for their faith. Expulsion from life as they knew it, cast away from family and friends. Even some who believed dare not let on that they did, for fear of being kicked out and away from everything they knew.
New can be scary …
American life is full of religious freedom that we take for granted more than we want to let on. Across the ocean, others who believe in the same Jesus that we do suffer. They sacrifice everything. They are kicked out of circles they know …lives they have built …and are separated from those they love …for all time.
From the freedom we reside in, we must keep fighting for our circle, wherever they may be. There are missions and humanitarian movements …and we must keep praying and fighting to encircle the disconnected …the hurt …the displaced …if only in whispers, but prayerfully shouting.
Fear, or phobos, in the NT can mean “fear, fright, alarm,” but also “awe.” (Mounce’s Complete Expository Dictionary)
The same fear that can cause us to whisper and hide, is the same fear that can produce loud echoes of awe-stricken worship for our God. The world is scary. There is much to fear. But as Christians, we are privy to the ending. In the meantime, we look to the One who gracefully swooped down to save us.
When we bump into conversation with someone about Jesus …will we brave the nudge in awe of our Lord, or fearfully whisper…
Father, Praise You the fear that scares us …but also inspires us. Thank You for the opportunity to openly worship You. We confess how much we take that for granted, and pray for all of those in this world who do not share such freedoms. Bless them, uphold them, and keep them fearless of whispers, and fearfully awestricken by You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Get the conversation started by commenting below, and let’s encourage one another as we face life in 2017 armed with grace!
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