"... For the Jews had already agreed that if anyone should confess Jesus to be Christ, he was to be put out of the synagogue" (John 9:22b). Read John 9:13, 18-23.
"We don't know!" What a puzzling response! Have these parents forgotten their disappointment when they first learned their son could not see? Now he stands before them seeing perfectly! But when they are asked to testify they refuse. It seems they would have preferred for their son to have remained blind than for Jesus to have given him sight.
What caused this silence? Mom and dad felt more fear of the threats of the Jewish leaders than gratitude for what Jesus had given their son. They wanted to keep their place in the synagogue and knew they risked being thrown out if they spoke up about Jesus. So they pushed their son back into the witness stand and refused to speak up.
How often are we ruled by fear-fear of the condemnation of our enemies, of the judgment of acquaintances, of the rejection of our friends or family members? How often do we fear being excluded, ridiculed or worse?
How can we stand up to those fears? It is possible only by the power of the Holy Spirit strengthening us and shoring us up against these pressures. That is why God has given you a church family, to encourage and strengthen you, to build you up in His Word and Sacrament.
The opposition we face is just as real as that which they faced. Jesus would continue to stand up to that opposition and hatred-all the way to the cross and the empty tomb. He suffered and died at the hands of His enemies and rose again in victory that we might live with Him forever.
THE PRAYER: Lord Jesus, give me courage and strength to stand up against Your enemies and boldly declare my faith in a hostile world. Amen.
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