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"Yet No One Would Speak Openly About Him"
"Are You Afraid to Confess Christ"
Scripture Reading - John 7: 1-13
"While some were saying, "He is a good man," others were saying, "No, he is deceiving the crowd." Yet no one would speak openly about him for fear of the Jews. "
Are you afraid to confess Christ? This is a question that certainly causes us to pause and reflect on our daily walks withJ esus. We are not afraid to call ourselves Christians. We are not afraid to say that we believe. But, what happens when we have the chance to share the good news of Jesus Christ with another person? Are we comfortable telling a complete stranger about our relationship with Jesus in an elevator --or on a plane?
In his book Many Mansions, Harvey Cox discusses his interactions and observations with other faiths. In the introduction, Cox asserts that people from other religious backgrounds love to talk about Jesus. The name Jesus is not offensive to them. In fact, many people want to know more about the man we call Jesus Christ. Mahatma Gandhi knew of Christ. He spoke of Christ quite often and had a better understanding of Christ's mission on earth than some Christians. If people yearn to have a better understanding of Christ, then why do we remain tight-lipped?
I believe the answer can be found in today's passage from John 7. In this passage, we read about Jesus and his brothers. The Bible speaks little of Jesus' earthly family and today's scripture reading is a rare occurrence. John tells us that Jesus was essentially a wanted man. The Jews wanted to kill him. From the reading, we can see that people were beginning to chose sides. Some people were even on his side at a time when his own family did not believe in him. Yet, we are told that the people were afraid to speak openly because they were afraid of the Jews.
It has been 2,000 years since John penned his gospel and things have not changed that much. Jesus Christ is still causing a great debate in our society, yet we are afraid of speaking openly in favor of Jesus in fear of offending someone from another faith.
Are we really afraid of offending someone from another faith, or are we afraid that we will not be popular? Are we afraid that we will no longer be part of the in-crowd? I am sad to say that I know of many Christians that fall into this category. These individuals attend church. In fact, many of them are church leaders. However, during the week, they never speak of Christ.
While he walked the earth as one of us, I am sure that Christ experienced great loneliness. Today's passage is one that I have never really contemplated; but, as I write this article, I feel sad. John tells us that Jesus walked among the people in secret. They did not see him, but he saw them and heard the comments of the people. I know what it is like to overhear conversations about me. Conversations that were never intended for my ears to hear. I can only imagine what Jesus felt as he walked among the crowd.
What would Jesus hear us say if he walked among us today?