At that time some Pharisees came to Jesus and said to him, “Leave this place and go somewhere else. Herod wants to kill you.”
He replied, “Go tell that fox, ‘I will keep on driving out demons and healing people today and tomorrow, and on the third day I will reach my goal.’ In any case, I must press on today and tomorrow and the next day—for surely no prophet can die outside Jerusalem!
Jesus was headed toward Jerusalem, preaching, teaching, healing, and delivering people. The Pharisees approached Jesus and told him to leave the area because Herod wanted to kill Him. Their motives were impure because Jesus was ruining their party. He was exposing their hypocrisy and because of that, they wanted Him gone.
Jesus’ response was bold, “Go tell that fox, ‘I will keep on driving out demons and healing people today and tomorrow, and on the third day I will reach my goal.’” In other words, Jesus stood up for what was right, God’s will. He would not allow the fear of someone in power to intimidate Him from doing what He knew was God’s will. Nothing or no one would alter God’s plan for Jesus on that day. Every Christian man needs to determine that he will not allow the fear of people to prevent him from doing what is right.
There are some specifics you need to know about standing up for Jesus:
- Satan will use people to attempt to instill fear in Christian men of doing the right thing. Be expectant and be prepared, using the Word to fight your battles. Expect it and be ready for it.
- Doing the right thing may intimidate or shame some. These are the people who will try to get you to compromise on doing the right thing because it makes them feel bad.
- What is right is determined by what God says in His Word. Where no direct command is given about an issue, God has given us principles to show us the right thing to do as well as the Holy Spirit to guide us.
- As a Christian man, you must determine whether you are going to please God or please people. You cannot consistently do both. When you decide to please God, many of your decisions will seem to be made for you. Obedience to God is a natural response to being an image-bearer of Christ.
- Part of standing up for WHAT is right is standing with those WHO are right. A masculine Christian man will stand up with those who are also saying and doing what is right.
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.
– Edmund Burke
Chuck Colson tells the story of Telemachus, a fourth-century Christian monk. This man lived in a remote village, tending his garden and spending much of his time in prayer. One day he thought he heard the voice of God telling him to go to Rome, so he obeyed, heading out on foot. Weary weeks later, he arrived in the city at the time of a great festival. The little monk followed the crowd surging down the streets into the Colosseum. He saw the gladiators stand before the emperor and say, “We who are about to die salute you.” When he realized, these men were going to fight to the death for the entertainment of the crowd, Telemachus cried out, “In the name of Christ, stop!”
As the games began, he pushed his way through the crowd, climbed his way over the wall, and dropped to the floor of the arena. When the crowd saw this tiny figure rushing to the gladiators and saying, “In the name of Christ, stop!” they thought it was part of the show and began laughing. When they realized it wasn’t, the laughter turned to anger. As Telemachus was pleading with the gladiators to stop, one of them plunged a sword into his body. He fell to the sand. As he was dying, his last words were, “In the name of Christ, stop!”
Then a strange thing happened. The gladiators stood looking at the tiny figure lying there. A hush fell over the Colosseum. Way up in the upper rows, a man stood and made his way to the exit. Others began to follow. In dead silence, everyone left the Colosseum.
The year was 391AD, and that was the last battle to the death between gladiators in the Roman Colosseum. Never again in the great stadium did men kill each other for the entertainment of the crowd, all prompted by one tiny voice that could hardly be heard above the roar, one voice that spoke the truth in God’s name.
This week, identify someone in your community who is saying and doing the right things—perhaps an elected official or the leader of an organization or ministry. First, pray for the person, then contact that person (by email, letter, phone call, text, or social media) and specifically share your appreciation.