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

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

When the leading priests and Pharisees heard this parable [about the tenant farmers who killed the landowners son], they realized he was telling the story against them — they were the wicked farmers. They wanted to arrest him, but they were afraid of the crowds, who considered Jesus to be a prophet.
— Matthew 21:45-46 NLT

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 earthly 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 faithfulness will lead him to the cross. In the end, it is not the mob, or the soldiers, or the chief priests, or the Sanhedrin (the Jewish ruling council), or Herod, or Pilate that places Jesus on the cross. They couldn't do it. They didn't have the power to do it on their own. Jesus ultimately will choose to 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 doesn't have 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 not to be governed and controlled by the crowd but to live in tune with your will. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

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


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Illustration of Matthew 21:45-46 NLT —  They wanted to arrest him, but they were afraid of the crowds, who considered Jesus to be a prophet.

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 and is available in book form.

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.