"set free in the open" (see ps 18:20)
"At this they tried to seize Him, but no one laid a finger on Him because His hour had not yet come." —John 7:30
Jesus repeatedly took His place publicly amid ferocious opposition and boldly proclaimed the word of God. "This led some of the people of Jerusalem to remark: 'Is this not the One they want to kill? Here He is speaking in public and they don't say a word to Him!' " (Jn 7:25-26)
The keys to Jesus' fearlessness are:
- His relationship with His Father. Because Jesus knew that the Father loves him (see Jn 5:20), He had total confidence that the Father would protect Him fully, until His "hour" came to suffer (see Jn 7:30; 12:27).
- His knowledge of being sent by the Father to proclaim God's word. Jesus knew that the full authority of God the Father was backing Him up (see Mt 28:18; Jn 5:36; 7:16). Because Jesus sought glory for His Father Who sent Him and not for Himself (Jn 7:18), His heart burnt with zeal rather than cowered due to self-preservation.
- His love. "Love has no room for fear; rather, perfect love casts out all fear" (1 Jn 4:18).
Now Jesus says to us: "As the Father has sent Me, so I send You" (Jn 20:21). Let's take up our places in God's kingdom and be confident. We will likely be opposed, as Jesus was. But God will give us strength even in full sight of our foes (Ps 23:5). "If God is for us, who can be against us?" (Rm 8:31) Like the psalmist, we can say: "They attacked me in the day of my calamity, but the Lord came to my support. He set me free in the open, and rescued me, because He loves me" (Ps 18:19-20).
Prayer: Father, I know fear is useless. Increase my trust in You (Mk 5:36) and take away all my fear.
Promise: "Many are the troubles of the just man, but out of them all the Lord delivers him." —Ps 34:20
Praise: Dave forgave his wife for being unfaithful to him.
Reference: (This teaching was submitted by one of our editors.)
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Ralph J. Lawrence, August 9, 2000
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 18, 2000