What Jesus Did! 'Not Under Fear!' — Matthew 21:45-46

Thursday, October 12, 2017

The leading priests and the Pharisees heard these stories that Jesus told. They knew that Jesus was talking about them. They wanted to find a way to arrest Jesus. But they were afraid of the people, because the people believed that Jesus was a prophet.
— Matthew 21:45-46 NLT
Illustration of Matthew 21:45-46 NLT —  But they were afraid of the people, because the people believed that Jesus was a prophet.

Key Thought

Jesus is the one attacked and hated. Jesus is the one who appears powerless. Jesus is the one who is crucified. Jesus is the one without friends in high places. But ... Notice that Jesus is the one who is not afraid. Notice that Jesus is the one who is not looking over his shoulder at his popularity ratings. Notice that Jesus is the one who speaks authoritatively while those in power can only ask questions, plot in dark alleys, and cower in fear of losing their popularity with the crowds. There is a remarkable freedom when passion for God's will floods out fear. Jesus is the one who follows the will of God. He is free to act and speak, even though his faith will lead him to the cross. In the end, it is not the mob, nor the soldiers, nor the chief priests, nor the Sanhedrin (the Jewish ruling council), nor Herod, nor Pilate that place Jesus on the cross. They couldn't do it. They didn't have the power or the courage to do it on their own. Jesus ultimately will go to the cross to fulfill the Father's will and to save us. His fearlessness gives him the freedom to choose the cross. Everyone else in the story is afraid and out of control. Only Jesus chooses his own path. Praise God, praise Jesus, because he used his freedom to die as the sacrifice for our sins!

Today's Prayer

Holy and gracious Father, thank you for giving Jesus the ability to accept or reject your will. Thank you for letting him articulate his human struggles to you and then to us through Scripture. Thank you for his power and boldness to follow your will. Please help me to be less governed and controlled by the crowd and more in tune with your will. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Matt. 14:3-5
  • Mark 11:29-33
  • Luke 22:1-6


About This Devotional

What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.