Expressions of Love In the Presence of Jesus

Today’s selected reading continues in the New Testament gospel account of the life and ministry of Jesus the Christ as written and recorded by the apostle John. More specifically, today’s passage is found in verses thirty-seven through fifty of the twelfth chapter. When you come to this particular portion of scripture you will find the twelfth chapter of the gospel which the apostle John wrote coming to a close. This chapter which would begin six days before the Passover would not draw closer and closer to that particular feast and celebration among the Jewish pekole and all those who would gather together from the nations and people round about the nation and region of Israel. This particular chapter opened within the small town of Bethany where Jesus had previously called Lazarus forth out of his grave, and had raised him from death to life. As this chapter begins and opens up it does so with a meal and supper being prepared for Jesus and how Lazarus and his two sisters were present at this dinner. Scripture indicates that this supper and meal might have been within the house of one named Simon although it is unclear as to where it actually took place. One thing we can be absolutely sure and certain about when reading the words which are found within this chapter is that there is an incredibly wonderful n powerful picture of three distinct realities which are present within the presence of Jesus. In the previous chapter we find Jesus calling Lazarus forth out of his grave and raising him from death to life after he remained two full days where He was when receiving the news that Lazarus was sick. What’s more, is that by the time Jesus had shown up—not only was Lazarus dead, but he had been dead for four days and four day within the tomb. We know and understand from the previous chapter that Jesus lives Lazarus and his two sisters Mary and Martha. The apostle John makes it perfectly clear that Jesus lives this family of three, and even when Lazarus had become sick these two sisters sent word unto Jesus that the one whom He loved was sick. What’s more, is that this love was out on full display at the grave of Lazarus as Jesus wept over the scene at the grave and wept over Lazarus being in the graves and the sorrow of his sisters. The Jews who were present at the tomb marveled and beheld how greatly and how much Jesus loved this man by and through His response there at the grave. Even though when Martha and Martha found themselves in the presence of Jesus and declared unto Him that had He been there their brother ought not have died, Jesus emphatically proclaimed that He was indeed the resurrection and life. What’s more, is that Jesus would go on to declare that though a man were in fact dead—because He was the resurrection and the life—that one would live. How absolutely wonderful and powerful it is to think about and consider the tremendous love of Jesus within the eleventh chapter and narrative of Lazarus, and how love doesn’t always show up on time or even when we want and desire it to.

As you read the words which are found in the opening verses of the twelfth chapter you will find a supper being prepared for Jesus—perhaps simply to engage in His presence, or perhaps to honor Him after what He had done at the tomb and grave of Lazarus. We aren’t given the reason for the supper and meal that was prepared for Jesus at the opening of the chapter, but one thing we know for sure is that there was our on display a powerful response—not only to love, but also to resurrection. There is not a doubt in my mind when reading the words which are found in the opening verses of the twelfth chapter that what we find here is a wonderful display of a hearts response to the love of Jesus, and even to the incredible work which Jesus has wrought within our lives. If and as you read the words which are found within this passage of scripture you will come face to face with Lazarus and his two sisters Mary and Martha being present at this supper. With these three siblings each present at the supper we find a different and unique response to the presence and person of Jesus. What’s actually quite interesting and astonishing when thinking about and considering what we find within this passage of scripture is the response of family within the presence of Jesus. I am sure the disciples of Jesus were in fact present at this supper, and scripture seems to support that as in response to Mary’s actions Judas spoke yo with indignation at what he perceived to be a waste of ointment and perfume on the presence and person of Jesus. Pause for a moment and consider the weight of the statement Judas made in the presence of Jesus, for Judas actually had the audacity to declare in the presence of Jesus that an act of honor and an act of worship before and in His presence was a waste. What a tremendous contrast we find in this passage between the disciples who could not recognize true worship and perceived it as waste, and the hearts response in the presence of Jesus to His great love and kindness. This chapter begins with the reality and concept of family and friendship as not only do we find the disciples present at this supper, but we also find Mary, Martha and Lazarus present as well. This is actually quite interesting, for although these three siblings were present at this supper, they each had their own unique and individual response to, before and unto Jesus. We dare not, cannot and must not miss this incredibly wonderful and powerful truth, for it speaks something absolutely wonderful and powerful within our own hearts and lives and how we honor and display our love for and toward Jesus the Christ.

As you take the time to read the opening verses which are found within this passage of scripture you will come face to face with three distinct individuals and three distinct actions being performed by these individuals. At this supper we find Martha present, and in typical style and fashion or Martha we find her laboring and serving—not only before and unto Jesus, but also unto those who were present at this supper. Perhaps Martha sought to make sure that everyone’s needs were met, that everyone had enough to eat, and that everyone had enough to drink. Perhaps Martha helped prepare the meal which was made in honor of and in the presence of Jesus. Perhaps Martha even took time to help clear the dishes when the guests were finished and had their fill of what was before them. We aren’t given any clue or indication as to how Martha labored and served at this meal, but we can know for certain that it was in direct alignment with the picture we find in the gospel of Luke concerning her invitation of Jesus unto her home, and her being converse about with much labor and work. Also present at this supper was Lazarus who we do not find laboring and serving, but simply sitting at the table with Jesus. Perhaps he reclined on the breast of Jesus, or perhaps he simply sat at the table next to Jesus in order to be close to Him. Consider what that scene would and could have looked like as not only do we find the resurrection and life at the table, but we find Lazarus sitting at the table as the resurrected one. WHEN RESURRECTION AND THE RESURRECTED ONE SIT DOWN TO MEAT TOGETHER! What a truly wonderful and remarkable picture is found at this supper and dinner, for not only do we find resurrection life and power at the table, but we also find the resurrected one at the table as well. What we see and what we find through the person and actions of Lazarus in this passage of scripture is not only his sitting still the table with Jesus, but I would dare say that Lazarus engaged in fellowship with Jesus, as well as with those who were present this evening. Perhaps Lazarus was enjoying sweet fellowship, communion and conversation with Jesus, with His disciples, and perhaps with the others who were present at this supper. I would dare say that through the person of Lazarus we see a wonderful and remarkable picture of fellowship with Jesus and with the disciples of Christ. Through the person of Martha we see a wonderful and powerful picture of one laboring and serving in the presence of Jesus, and laboring and serving—not only Jesus, but also the disciples of Christ and others. With this being said, there is a third display found at this dinner and supper, and that is through the life of Mary who neither labored and served, nor sat at the table with Jesus, but who entered into the house with a pound of pure ointment and perfume which she poured upon the feet of Jesus, as she would go on to wipe His feet with her hair. Through the life and example of Mary we encounter the wonderful and powerful reality of worship in the presence of Jesus, as Mary neither labored nor sat at the table with Jesus, but instead bowed herself at His feet in order that she might express her love, her gratitude and her appreciation for Jesus the Christ. Even mire than this we find and discover that her actions were about more than just worship, but her actions were also about preparing Jesus’ physical body for the death and burial which He would experience in just a few short days hence.

I have to admit that before we even get into that which is found in the final verses of this particular chapter we must recognize and understand it in direct relationship to that which we find in the opening verses of the chapter. In the opening verses of the chapter we encounter a supper and meal which was prepare for Jesus the Christ, and how three siblings were invited unto the supper and were also present. It would be these three siblings who would each have their own unique response to the person and presence of Jesus within this particular encounter, and their responses would not be the same at all. In all reality, there is not a doubt in my mind that what we find within and through the lives of these three individuals is a truly wonderful and remarkable picture of what takes place within the body of Christ, and the outflow and working out of the love and affection which men and women have in the presence of Jesus. Within the opening verses of this chapter we find Martha laboring and serving in the presence of Jesus and undoubtedly among those who were present on this particular occasion, as well as Lazarus sitting at the table with Jesus—undoubtedly fellowshipping with Jesus, with the disciples and with others who were present at this supper. We also find present at this supper Mary who took a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and proceeded to wipe His feet with her hair. Three different individuals—each who were related by blood—and yet each individual had a different response within the presence of Jesus. Lazarus whom Jesus had called forth out of the grave and whom Jesus had raised from death to life simply sat at the table with Jesus in fellowship with the Son and with others, while Martha labored and served among those who were present at this particular supper. Mary would also come unto and be present at this dinner, however, Mary would neither sit at the table, nor labor and serve, but would take that which was very costly and pour it out at and upon the feet of Jesus before she proceeded to wipe them with her hair. Please don’t miss and please don’t lose sight of that which is found within this passage, for it presents us with a wonderful and powerful picture of the expression of love and the expression of affection before and unto Jesus in the house of the Lord, and even in His presence. One thing we must recognize and understand as we read the words found within this passage is that though Mary, Martha and Lazarus were family and shared the same blood, so also are we also of one family and share the same blood—the blood of Jesus the Christ who laid down His life and sacrificed it upon the cross. Despite the fact that we are all of the same blood and we are all of the same family, our expressions of love and affection within the presence of Jesus are completely and entirely different.

YOUR EXPRESSION OF LOVE MIGHT BE DIFFERENT FROM MINE! If there is one thing we must understand and acknowledge when reading the words which are found and recorded within this passage of Scripture, it’s that your response to the person and presence of Jesus might be different than mine, and your expression of love might be different than mine. Nowhere in Scripture does it state that we must all respond the same way in the house of the Lord, and that we must all have the same expression of love and affection in the house of the Lord, and in the presence of Jesus. Of course we know that we are all commanded to love the Lord our God with all of our heart, with all of our mind, and with all of our strength, and of course we know that we are to esteem others as better than ourselves, however, we must recognize and understand that our responses and our reactions in the house of the Lord and in the presence of the Lord might be drastically different. I am thoroughly convinced that there are those present within the house of the Lord who express and manifest their love, their affection, their gratitude and their appreciation for Jesus the Christ through acts of service, through labor, through serving and through works. There are individuals present within the house of the Lord who express their love for Jesus the Christ through labor and serving among the needs of others, and other laboring and serving in the presence of Jesus. There are others who express their affection, their love, and their gratitude before and unto Jesus through simply sitting at the table with Jesus and with others. What I mean by this is that these individuals express their love and affection by giving themselves unto fellowship—not only fellowship with Jesus who is the Christ, but also to fellowship with the disciples of Jesus the Christ and the saints of God. There are those among us whose expression of love and affection might not necessarily be laboring and serving but might be found and wrapped up in fellowship with the saints of God. Such individuals might not be among those who you would consistently find serving among the needs of the body, however, you will always find them enjoying and experiencing fellowship with the saints of God and disciples of Christ. With that being said, there is still yet a third expression of love and affection in the presence of Jesus—one that is not of laboring and serving, nor even of fellowship with others, but rather with and through worship at the feet of Jesus. This third expression of love and affection can in fact become quite trick and quite confusing for those who would consider it, for we are all commanded and instructed to worship Jesus the Christ, and to worship the Father in spirit and in truth. It is absolutely necessary and imperative that we recognize and understand that what is expressed, what is manifested, and what is put on display here in this passage of Scripture is an expression of worship that is different from fellowship and different from serving, and simply positions us at the feet of Jesus where we break open our hearts, we break open our souls, and we simply lavish our worship upon Jesus. Please note that there are those among us who are more comfortable at the feet of Jesus in His presence lavishing their worship upon Him, and even mixing fragrant perfume with tears, while there are others who aren’t in that place within their lives. Oh it is true they might still worship alongside others in the presence of Jesus, and it is true that they do in fact worship the living God and Jesus the Christ, however, their expression is entirely different from that of others before and around them.

One of the most incredible realities we must come face to face with within our lives is that neither your response, nor my response to the person of Jesus the Christ need to be the exact same. It is perfectly natural and perfectly okay for you to have your own expression of love and affection in the presence of Jesus and me to have my own expression of love and affection in the presence of Jesus. We all gather together in the house of the Lord to worship Jesus the Christ and to worship the eternal Father and Spirit, however, our expressions of love in the house of God and in the presence of Jesus are and might very well be drastically different from that of the men and women around us. There are those present among us who are more comfortable at the feet of Jesus with tears and perfume than they are with laboring and serving. Such individuals might never be found laboring and serving in the capacity as others do, however, that in no way suggests that their expression of love is somehow any greater or any better than that of others. There are those among us who are more comfortable serving and laboring in the house of the Lord in the presence of Jesus and among others, and they aren’t as comfortable with tears and perfume at the feet of Jesus. They find their expression of love and their expression of affection toward and in the presence of Jesus in service and labor among the needs of those before and around them. Such individuals are perfectly content in giving themselves to labor and service in the house of the Lord and among the needs of others, and yet we might never find them worshipping and ministering among tears and perfume. MINISTERING AMONG TEARS AND PERFUME! LABORING AND SERVING IN THE NEEDS OF OTHERS! With this being said, we must recognize and understand that there is a third group of individuals found within the house of the Lord—a group of individuals who are more comfortable expressing their love and affection in the presence of Jesus the Christ through fellowship with others. Such individuals have a tremendous heart for fellowship with others, and are constantly found looking for opportunities to engage and enter into fellowship with the body of Christ, with the saints of God, and with the disciples of Jesus the Christ. These individuals find their greatest expression of love and their greatest expression of affection and love in fellowship with the saints of God and fellowship with the disciples of Christ, as they are among those found sitting at the table with Jesus the Christ and with the disciples who are present there at the table. Please don’t miss and please don’t lose sight of this reality, for it is absolutely necessary that we understand and come face to face with the incredible and tremendous reality that your expression of love and my expression of love might be entirely different, and are in no way required to be the same. What we must understand is that we recognize and understand where and what our expression of love and affection is in the presence of Jesu, and to pour everything we have in that particular place. We must understand that what makes the body so unique is how delicately designed it actually is. We must understand and recognize that which makes the body of Christ so dramatically unique and so radically distinct in its nature through the various expressions of love and affection which are found within it.

When you move beyond the expressions of love which are found in the presence of Jesus at this supper you will find various expressions of those present during those days to the person and presence of Jesus the Christ. If you continue reading that which is found in this chapter you will find that while there were three distinct reactions and responses to the person and presence of Jesus the Christ—four if you count Judas’ reaction and response in declaring that Mary pouring this pound of ointment, very costly on the feet of Jesus was a great waste—there were also other responses and reactions in the presence of Jesus the Christ, and in response to the person of Jesus the Christ. In fact, when you come to the twelfth verse of this chapter you will find that much people who were at the feast—when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem—took branches of palm tees, and went forth to meet Him, and cried out saying, “Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord.” Immediately following the expressions of Mary, Martha and Lazarus at the supper which was prepared for Jesus we find much people—when they learned that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem—welcomed Him into the city with branches of palm trees and exclaiming blessing upon the King of Israel who comes in the name of the Lord. If you continue reading even further you will come to the seventeenth verse and will find that the people which were with Jesus when He called Lazarus out of the grave and raised him from the dead bare record of Jesus, and came out to meet Him. Immediately following the expression of Mary, Martha and Lazarus we find those who with branches of palm trees met Jesus as He entered into the city of Jerusalem and exclaimed unto Him blessing as the King of Israel who comes in the name of the Lord. There were others who were with Him when He called Lazarus out of the grave, and raised Him from the dead who also came unto the city of Jerusalem in order that they might bare witness unto Him. This is actually quite unique, for as you continue reading the words which are found within this particular passage of Scripture you will find that there were a great many other men and women who came to meet and see Jesus after hearing the miracle which He had performed by calling Lazarus out of the grave and raising Him from the dead. Despite all of this, as you continue reading the words found within this chapter you will find that there was also the presence of the Pharisees who were those who despised and rejected Jesus, and even declared and proclaimed among themselves how they were not prevailing in the case of Jesus the Christ, for the world is gone after Him. Thus far within verses twelve through nineteen we not only find those who heard that Jesus was coming unto the feast who met Him with branches of palm trees, and others who came upon hearing the miracle of calling Lazarus out of the grave and raising him from the grave, as well as the Pharisees who perceived that the whole world was going out after Jesus the Christ. What a profound statement the Pharisees made, as they proclaimed the whole world at that time was going after Jesus the Christ because of the many miracles which He had performed in Jerusalem, in Judaea and in Galilee.

By the time we come to the twentieth verse of the chapter we also find the presence of Greeks (Gentiles) who came up to worship at the feast of Passover in the city of Jerusalem. What we find concerning the Greeks was that not only did they come unto the feast in Jerusalem to worship, but they also desired that they might see Jesus the Christ. If you read the words which are found within this passage of Scripture you will find that there were certain Greeks among those who came up to worship at the feast who came unto Philip which was of Bethsaida of Galilee, and desired of him that they might see Jesus the Christ. The Greeks in all reality represent another group of individuals who were found in the city of Jerusalem at the time of the feast, and those who desired to see Jesus the Christ and to behold the one whom all the world was going after, and the one whom they had heard so much about. What a tremendous picture it is to think about and consider the fact that there were countless men and women who would come unto the city of Jerusalem and unto the feast of Passover to worship God and to celebrate the feast, however, there was something else at work within the city of Jerusalem as well—namely, coming to Jerusalem to celebrate the feast, but also to meet, see and encounter the person of Jesus the Christ. Please don’t miss and please don’t lose sight of this particular reality, for it is unique within and throughout the New Testament gospel of John, as while it was true that men and women came unto the city of Jerusalem unto the feasts of Israel, and while it was true that men and women came unto the city of Jerusalem to worship God and celebrate the feast, they came unto the feast in order that they might see Jesus the Christ. Think about this for a moment, for there were those who would come unto the city of Jerusalem to worship the living God at the feast, and yet in that worship they would also seek and desire that they might behold Jesus. It is true that there were those who would come unto the city of Jerusalem to worship God, and to celebrate the feast which was taking place within the city of Jerusalem, however, there was connected to that worship and to that celebration a true and genuine seeking of Jesus in order that they might behold Him. One of the most unique realities surrounding the gospel of John is the incredible emphasis he places on the Jewish feasts, and how Jesus’ movement within the city of Jerusalem would be directly linked and directly connected unto the three main pilgrimage feasts of Israel—the feast of Passover, the feast of Pentecost, and the feast of Tabernacles. Within this gospel we find Jesus moving within the city of Jerusalem according to the feasts which were being celebrated in the city—not only by the Jewish people themselves, but also by those from the nations, land and region round about Judaea, Jerusalem, Galilee and Samaria. The gospel of John places a great deal of emphasis not he Jewish feasts which were celebrated within the city of Jerusalem, and how in coming unto Jerusalem to celebrate those feasts, men and women also came unto the city to seek out Jesus the Christ in order that they might find, behold, and even experience Him for themselves.

When you come to the thirty-seventh verse of this chapter you find a unique turn taking place within the language contained within the chapter. What would begin with the expressions of love and affection as evidences amen manifested through the lives of Mary, Martha and Lazarus, and what would continue through the various expressions and responses of Jews and Greeks alike during those days would eventually reach the point and place where the apostle John would make the following statement concerning many who in Jewry during those days. As you read the words which are found in the thirty-seventh verse of this chapter you will find that “though He had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed Him not.” Immediately after writing concerning the various expressions and responses of those who were present during those days, the apostle John would go on to write and declare that though Jesus had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on Him. Please don’t quickly rush past and dismiss what is found within this particular verse, for it reveals something incredibly significant among us in this generation—namely, that even though Jesus has done so many miracles among us, and even though Jesus has done so much, there are still so many who do not believe and those who have not believed on Him. What an incredibly tragic statement it is to think about and consider the fact that it is possible that Jesus can do many miracles among us within our midst, and yet even though Jesus has done and performed all those miracles, that doesn’t mean that men and women can and will believe on Him. It is possible for Jesus to be active in our midst, and yet men and women cannot and do not believe on Him. It is possible for Jesus to be active in signs, and wonders, and miracles in the midst of our services, and in the midst of our gathering together, and yet there are those who cannot and do not believe on Him, nor put their trust and confidence in Him. The apostle John emphatically wrote and declared that that despite the fact that Jesus did many miracles among them during those days, there were many who did not believe on Him. This is quite astonishing and unique when you consider it in light of what we find in the forty-second verse of the same chapter, for within the forty-second verse of this chapter we find that among the chief rulers many believed on Jesus the Christ, however, because of the pharisees they were unwilling to confess Jesus publicly, lest they should be put out of the synagogue. This particular reality was found present in the ninth chapter of the gospel as the apostle John wrote that many of the Jews were afraid to publicly confess Jesus the Christ—despite the fact that they believed in and believed on Him—for and out of fear of the Jews. In the ninth chapter of this gospel we find that the Jews had agreed among themselves that whoever confessed that Jesus was the Christ would be put out of the synagogue—an action we would actually see be manifested in the life of the man who was blind from birth and who had sight given unto him by Jesus the Christ.

As I sit here this morning I can’t help but be incredibly drawn to the words which the apostle John wrote concerning many among the chief rulers among the Jews during those days, for despite the fact that there were many among the chief rulers who believed on Jesus, they were unwilling to confess Him publicly for fear of the Pharisees, and for fear of being put out of the synagogue. This actually leads me to something quite interesting and quite unique—namely, that it is possible to believe on Jesus as the Christ, and to believe on Jesus as the Son of the living God, and yet be unwilling to publicly confess Him as such. It is possible to believe within our heart that Jesus is the Christ, and that Jesus is indeed the Son of God, and yet be unwilling to make a bold and emphatic declaration such as Simon also called Peter did when Jesus asked the disciples whom they said that He the Son of man was. Consider if you will the words and response of Simon also called Peter when Jesus asked the disciples whom they said that He the Son of man was: “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Consider what a bold statement that was which Simon also called Peter, but also how incredibly provocative and threatening it was during those days, for had Simon also called Peter made such a declaration publicly, he ran the risk of being put out of the synagogue, and being excommunicated. We cannot afford to miss this—particularly in light of what we find and what we read in the New Testament epistle which the apostle Paul wrote unto the saints which were at Rome. Consider the words which are found in the tenth chapter of the epistle written unto the Romans beginning with the eighth verse of the chapter: “But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; that if thou wilt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on Him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon Him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? As it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!” (Romans 10:8-15). Notice that when writing unto the saints which were at Rome the apostle Paul emphatically wrote and declared that if we confess with our mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in our heart that God has indeed raised Him from the dead, we shall be saved. What’s more, is the fact that the apostle Paul would go on to declare with our heart we believe unto righteousness, and with our mouth we confess unto salvation. In other words, what we find evident and manifested within the heart and life of Simon also called Peter is a powerful display of this reality—despite the fact that he could not yet believe in his heart that God had indeed raised Christ from the dead, for it had not yet happened. Oh that we would recognize and come to terms with the incredible reality that it is possible to believe within our heart that Jesus is indeed the Christ, and believe in our heart that Jesus is indeed the Son of God, and yet we are unwilling to confess with our mouths such a reality for fear of those before and around us. It is possible to believe within our heart that Jesus is indeed who He claimed and professed Him to be, and yet because we are afraid and fearful of those before and around us, we are unwilling to make such a confession with our mouths.

The apostle John actually touches on something incredibly interesting and unique when writing these words, for immediately after declaring that many of the chief rulers who believed would not confess with their mouths, the apostle John would go on to write how they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God. This reality is directly linked and directly tied to words which Jesus had previously spoken within the city of Jerusalem when He declared among others: “How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only?” (John 5:44). With these words Jesus boldly declared that we cannot say we truly believe if we still continue seeking the honour from one another rather than the honour which comes from God. In all reality, that which Jesus touched upon when making such a statement is not only this tremendous fear of man which has the ability to seize and grip our hearts, but also the tremendous need for validation and approval of men rather than validation and approval of God. Many of the chief rulers did in fact believe in Jesus and did in fact believe on Jesus, and yet they would and could not confess that reality publicly for fear of the Pharisees, for the Pharisees had already made it known that any who confess that Jesus was the Christ and was the Son of God would be put out of the synagogue and would be excommunicated. Thus within this passage of Scripture we find fear of man, as well as the approval of man being directly linked and directly connected to public confession of Jesus as the Christ, and as the Son of the living God. One thing we must recognize when reading the words found within this passage is that it possible for us to believe within our hearts that Jesus is the Son of God, and it is possible to believe that Jesus is indeed the Christ, and yet we are unwilling to publicly confess such a reality for fear of those who are before and around us. I can’t help but be reminded of the words which Jesus would later speak unto His disciples in the upper room as He celebrated the Passover meal with them prior to His being crucified upon the cross of Calvary. I leave you with the words which Jesus the Christ spoke unto His disciples there in the upper room beginning with the first verse of the sixteenth chapter of the New Testament gospel of John:

“These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended. They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service. And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me. But these things have I told you, that when the time shall come, ye may remember that I told you of them. And these things I said not unto you at the beginning, because I was with you. But now I go my way to him that sent me; and none of you asketh me, Whither goest thou? But because I have said these things unto you, sorrow hath filled your heart. Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comfrorter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you. And when He is come, He will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they believe not on me; of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged” (John 16:1-11).

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