Mark 14:61-62 But Jesus remained silent and gave no answer.
Again the high priest asked him, “Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?”
“I am,” said Jesus. “And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.”
There are those even today who assert that Jesus never claimed to be divine, but that requires some absurd mental and linguistic gymnastics in the face of a passage like this. Jesus not only stated that yes, He was the Messiah, He rubbed it in, so to speak, with the line about coming on the clouds of heaven. The accusations of various “witnesses” didn’t get Him to open His mouth, but when the High Priest asked Him this direct question, He could not fail to speak the truth. I am reminded of Sharia courts today that try to “defend the honor of God,” as they see Him. Their judgments are as arbitrary and harsh as what Jesus endured. Actually, Islam and Sharia becoming so visible today gives us a much better grasp of what Jesus was talking about when He said that those who follow Him would be hauled in front of magistrates, and that those who killed His followers would think they were pleasing God. (Luke 21:12, John 16:2) Whether we are ever in such a place or not, we need to be as forthright with the truth as Jesus was, and not be silent for fear of consequences. Even if we have to “pay the ultimate price,” as people see it, our reward will be great indeed.
The pace of martyrdom is picking up around the world, and “cultural jihad” is seeking to bring it to America as well. I am in less direct danger of that in Japan than in most places in the world, including the US, but that is no reason to be indifferent. I am to be active and diligent in prayer for all my brothers and sisters in Christ who are “in harm’s way.” A dear friend and his family are traveling in the Middle East right now, and that puts something of a fine point on it. I am to keep praying that God’s Name would be acknowledged as holy and His kingdom come as His will is done perfectly on this earth, and flesh that prayer out with particulars as the Holy Spirit guides. I am to pray for boldness, wisdom, peace and joy for all who are endangered because they claim the Name of Christ, the only Savior. Though I am not in physical danger myself, I am not to fear rejection or ridicule. Sometimes we shy away from those more than we do from physical danger! I am to function as Christ’s ambassador in every sense, (2 Corinthians 5:20) doing His will, the work of His kingdom, all day every day, for His glory.
Father, thank You for this reminder. Thank You for the recent tests that give me less hesitation from my health standpoint about moving forward. May I get my “marching orders” from You consistently and accurately, speaking Your truth in love regardless of the consequences, so that Your Word through me may have its full work, for Your glory. (Isaiah 55:11) Thank You. Hallelujah!