What I’m Thinking: Courage

Jesus knew perfectly well what the future held if he continued on the course of his ministry. In this passage, he actually received warning – and he continued his work anyway.

Here’s a transcript:

I’m thinking about a few verses toward the end of the thirteenth chapter of Luke’s Gospel (Luke 13:31-35). Some Pharisees came to warn Jesus that King Herod was not pleased with him.

Now, one of the things that this shows is that Jesus’ relationship with Pharisees was not, in fact, one of universal opposition. Jesus, in fact, probably considered himself to be one of the Pharisees, and his arguments with them were the arguments of people coming from more or less the same viewpoint about the way life and faith were to be lived out.

Herod, now, Herod was something different: A client monarch, and one who had already ordered the execution of John the Baptist. Jesus, by virtue of being baptized by John, would have been associated in Herod’s mind with that fierce and vocal prophet.

Jesus’ response was to declare that he would continue to do what he was doing, a course that would, in the end, bring him to Jerusalem, the seat of power. Partially Herod’s power, the power of the priesthood (not aligned with the Pharisees), and, of course, the power of Rome. Jerusalem was the seat of the Roman governor of Judea.

These powers would cooperate in order to see Jesus crucified on a Roman cross.

Courage as a virtue has its problem. Misdirected courage can simply make us vulnerable without leading us either to accomplish what we’d set out to do or stay faithful to our calling.

But there are situations in life where courage is the virtue that must be summoned in order that other virtues might also be summoned. Jesus was a preacher and a healer, bringing good news to the people. He did not let danger dissuade him.

He summoned, not just his goodness and his powers, but his courage, and went on with his life and his work.

That’s what I’m thinking. I’m curious to hear about what you’re thinking. Leave me your thoughts in the comment section below; I’d love to hear from you.

Categories What I'm Thinking | Tags: , | Posted on March 11, 2019

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