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Lenten Devotion

"... 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.


Lord Jesus, give me courage and strength to stand up against
Your enemies and boldly declare my faith in a hostile world.

Written by Rev. Wayne Palmer

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