Jesus had nothing to hide. He was honest, open, genuine...and as we look through the gospels, we see this same theme throughout. What the people saw is what they got. No hidden agendas, no pretenses, just pure, unadulterated love.
We see this especially during Jesus' arrest and trial. Take John
18:19-24, for example: "While this was happening, the high priest
questioned Jesus about his disciples and about his teaching. Jesus
replied, 'I have spoken publicly to the world. I always taught in the
synagogues and in the temple courts, where all the Jewish people
assemble together. I have said nothing in secret. Why do you ask me? Ask
those who heard what I said. They know what I said.' When Jesus had said
this, one of the high priest's officers who stood nearby struck him on
the face and said, 'Is that the way you answer the high priest?' Jesus
replied, 'If I have said something wrong, confirm what is wrong. But if
I spoke correctly, why strike me?'" (NET)
I don't know about you, but I think if I were on trial for my life, I
might try to sugarcoat things a bit. You know, make myself to be seen in a
better light, something, but not Jesus.
What is the difference between Jesus' reaction and my own?
Jesus knew and valued who He was in God. He knew, in any possible
situation, that His father loved Him and accepted Him. As a result, He
was freed from all worries about what people would think of Him. He was
even freed from the fear of death itself. This gave Him the freedom He
needed to be able to show true love at all
Am I being too harsh on myself? It's true that I also know who I am in
Christ. I know that my Father loves me and accepts me, no matter
what; but do I truly value this knowledge the way Jesus did? I mean, I
continue to be sensitive to what others think, I am limited by my fear
of non-acceptance, I am muzzled by a sense of dread that I might "say
the wrong thing". When I look at the life of Jesus, however, I see that He
valued what His Father thought of Him more highly than anything else.
Maybe I could learn some lessons...
Come on. Surely it can't be so bad to try to please other people.
Isn't that part of loving them?
As we proceed through the story of Jesus' trial, we find Him arriving in
the court of Pontius Pilot: "So Pilate came outside to them and
said, 'What accusation do you bring against this man?' They replied, 'If
this man were not a criminal, we would not have handed him over to you.'
Pilate told them, 'Take him yourselves and pass judgment on him
according to your own law!' The Jewish leaders replied, 'We cannot
legally put anyone to death.'" (John 18:29-31 NET).
Here Pilot finds himself in a hard position. He knows nothing about the
situation, yet at his word, this man can either be freed or killed. We
Pilot wants to save Jesus, and that he tries several different times to
change the minds of the Jews concerning Him: "he went back outside
to the Jewish leaders and announced, 'I find no basis for an accusation
against him.'" (John 18:38 NET; see also
So why didn't Pilot just say the word and have Jesus' life spared?
Many reasons, I am sure, but the one that God impressed upon me was
this: Pilot was too afraid of the people to stand up for what was right.
We know from the Biblical account that Pilot was afraid of the
potential consequences of having Jesus crucified: "When Pilate heard
what they said, he was more afraid than ever..." (John 19:8
his fear of the people was greater than his fear of putting an innocent
man to death.
And what was the result of Jesus' and Pilot's decisions? And what was
the end of their stories?
Jesus, who loved God and valued His instructions more than
He feared what others would think, died a horrible death.
Three days later, however, He rose from the grave, and He is now in Heaven and
will one day reign as ruler over all nations (see
Dan 7:18-27, etc).
Pilot's ending was a bit different.
The Roman historian and Christian polemicist, Eusebius, tells us that
Pontius Pilate fell under great misfortune, and that he eventually
committed suicide. (Taken from Flavius Josephus. Antiquities of the Jews
I don't know about you, but the end of Jesus' story, the One who put His
focus on God and Him alone, looks significantly better than the end of
Think about that the next time you are tempted to do (or not do)
something because of your fear of what people will think...
In His love,
Lynona Gordon Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two, Author --
"Aboard God's Train -- A
Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer", Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet
Scriptural Nuggets, a
website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, with
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