John 10:31 The Jews took up stones again to stone him.
In this brief snippet from John’s Gospel, we remember that Jesus’ life was constantly under threat during his ministry. It is all too easy to read these short anecdotes at arms’ length. In this passage, we see Jesus returning to his hometown and nearly being run off a cliff. We normally emerge from this reading with the idea that truth is sometimes hard to hear. We gloss over the fact that this story illustrates yet another near-death experience for Jesus. I am reminded that his public execution comes as no surprise to Jesus. He walks toward the cross his whole life because of his choices to stand against the powers and principalities of this broken and dying world.
Recently, I read a reflection by a friend writing about publicly witnessing against the power of evil in the world. My friend wrote, “I don’t do these things because of bravery. I do them because I have the privilege to do so.” Bravery is not a word I imagine Jesus would be keen on us using for his sake either. I suspect he would see fighting injustice and evil as both obligation and privilege.
MOVING FORWARD: Have you ever publicly stood up to evil or injustice? Would you do so? Why or why not?