John 7:1 “After this, Jesus went around in Galilee, purposely staying away from Judea because the Jews there were waiting to take his life.”
Jesus had enemies and opposers. Jesus deliberately avoided the carelessness of putting His life at risk. He purposely stayed away from danger. When he had to preach amongst enemies, He wasn’t careless, He took precaution of proceeding in secret. Look at the following reading.
John 7:6 Therefore Jesus told them, “The right time for me has not yet come; for you any time is right.
7:7 The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify that what it does is evil.
7:8 You go to the Feast. I am not yet going up to this Feast, because for me the right time has not yet come.”
7:9 Having said this, he stayed in Galilee.
7:10 However, after his brothers had left for the Feast, he went also, not publicly, but in secret. ”
Jesus had a mandate to come and die for us, but He didn’t act suicidal and put His life at risk. He purposely stayed away. Jesus had power over His enemies, but He still purposely stayed away from confrontation. Jesus could raise the dead and raise Himself from death, but still He purposely stayed away from danger and risk. He moved in secret. What about us who are unlike Him? What about us who are powerless before our enemies and death? He purposely stayed away and moved in secret!
Sometimes what we think is courage, is foolishness that even God doesn’t approve. We shouldn’t seek persecution but purposely stay away and where necessary and possible, we continue the work in secret. The aim is not to be persecuted. The aim is not to be counted as courageous. The aim is to share the gospel with as many as possible, so that they too can choose Christ. Until God approved time comes, it may be safe to purposely stay away and act in secret in some instances.
He purposely stayed away from confrontation and danger. We need to purposely stay away from risking our lives. Why risk your life in a violent relationship? Take refuge, seek Counseling and many times you may be advised on temporary separation. He purposely stayed away! Why risk life in offensive, abusive preaching, when the same thing can be taught politely and understood the same way?
Why confront bosses, teachers, leaders, on Sabbath matters, when you can get the same Sabbath off, through organizational arrangements? You don’t have to swear by court rulings and freedom of worship when you can still worship on Sabbath without controversy. It is only when you are completely out of polite options that you stand firm in your faith ready to lose and die. But until then, remember Jesus purposely stayed away out of trouble and even acted secretly!
Some of us court trouble confronting security officers, claiming our rights. Others challenge thugs during armed robbery. Others carelessly fight corrupt people and drug dealers thereby jeopardizing their lives. Others attempt to fight. Remember Jesus. He acted secretly when necessary. He purposely stayed out of trouble!
May God grant us wisdom today, to purposely stay out of any and all trouble…in Jesus name. Amen!
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