Various Old and New Testament believers are set forth as examples of courageous believing, speaking, and doing: Moses before Pharaoh, Joshua before the Jordan, Rahab before the soldiers, David before Goliath, Nathan before David, Elijah before the prophets of Baal, John the Baptist before Herod, Paul before his accusers, etc. But of course our supreme example of courage is Christ Himself, and he demonstrated that in many arenas:
- Courage in evangelism: He came to sinners with an authoritative summons: “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.”
- Courage in preaching: He addressed the most powerful religious leaders of the day as a “generation of vipers” and told them that woe was coming upon them unless they repented.
- Courage in private: He was not just brave when everyone else was watching but also when no one else was there. Witness his truth-full dealings with Nicodemus at night, and with the Samaritan woman at the well.
- Courage in dealing with his friends and family: Some men find it easy to be frank and fearless with their enemies, but Christ was frank and fearless with those closest to him as well.
- Courage in reforming the church: He cleansed the temple of greedy businessmen with a scourge of leather, and of greedy pharisees with the scourge of his tongue.
- Courage in the public square: Christ was not afraid to raise his voice in public, and speak up for the poor and against the abuse of power.
- Courage in fighting the devil: Christ knew at times that the devil was about to step up his attacks, yet he did not flinch; rather he faced it head on.
- Courage in crises: Christ continually faced the threat of physical pain and ultimately of death itself, yet “steadfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem.”
Tomorrow we’ll look at how we can imitate our great hero in these different arenas.