About Jesus - Steve Sweetman
"He was oppressed,
and afflicted, yet He did not
The world around us knows
little about who Jesus was while on earth and even less about who He is
now. Because Isaiah
portrayed Jesus as a poor little silent submissive lamb being led to His
death, the casual reader might think that Jesus was some kind of
spineless push over of a wimp.
Isaiah 53:7 is fulfilled
in John 18 and 19 where Jesus stood before Pilate, the governor of the
John 19:8 through 10
tells us that Pilate became fearful when he interrogated Jesus a second
time. No pathetic wimp makes
the most powerful man in a Roman province afraid.
It was during this second interrogation that Isaiah's prediction
found its fulfillment. Jesus
had told Pilate that He spoke truth.
He therefore refused to argue with Pilate over His claim.
He chose to be silent. Already
being fearful, Pilate grew impatient and agitated with Jesus' silence.
He snapped at Him and said, "Don't you know that I have
power to either free you or crucify you". (John 19:10)
At this point Isaiah's prediction ended as Jesus broke His
silence. Jesus calmly
rebuked Pilate by saying that he had no power over Him other than what
was given him from above.
Think about this.
The very presence of Jesus filled Pilate with fear.
Adding to this fear was the irritation Pilate felt from Jesus'
silence. Beyond that, Jesus
had just rebuked the governor for thinking he had some kind of authority
over Him. Pilate would not
have been in any mood to put up with this rebuke.
Let's be clear; Jesus did not wimp out in the face of adversity.
He was secure enough in knowing who He was that He could stand
strong, confident, yet quiet in spirit, in the midst of a stressful
Isaiah predicted that
Jesus would die as if He was a silent submissive lamb.
That was what Jesus' death looked like by the casual observer but
in actuality that was not the case.
We shouldn't associate Jesus being symbolized as a lamb with
weakness or wimpishness. Pilate
didn't take Jesus' life from Him. Jesus
freely handed His life over to Pilate. (John 10:18)
The Apostle Paul wasn't a
wimp either. A close study
of his second letter to the Corinthians shows that he had a heart of
compassion, but like Jesus, he was willing to freely give up his life in
the service of the Lord. He
did just that, both in life and death. (Acts 21:13) Paul
wasn't a suicidal wimp. It
takes a strong man to live and die as he did.
From Acts 21:39 to the end of Acts Paul chose to work his way
through the Roman legal system in defense of himself and the gospel. After
being illegally arrested he appealed his case to Caesar, the highest
court in the empire. (Acts 25:11)
Paul did not wimp out in the face of adversity.
He refused to allow the Romans or the Jews to take him for a
fool. He used all the legal
and civil avenues available to fight for himself and his cause.
The Apostle Peter was not
a wimp either. Before the
Jewish authorities who imprisoned him he stood strong and boldly
announced that under no circumstance would he obey them if it meant
disobeying God. (Acts 4:19) It
takes a good measure of Holy Spirit led guts to buck the system as Peter
Jesus, Paul, and Peter,
serve as our examples. As
Christians there is nothing unscriptural about us standing up for
ourselves and the gospel when unduly criticized.
Whether the criticism comes from an individual or the anti-Christ
culture in which we live, we use the avenues available in our defense,
that is, unless Jesus tells us to be silent.
We're not to be prideful and arrogant in the process, but on the
other hand, we're not called to be wimps either.
We are to be Holy Spirit led, strong, courageous, yet quiet in
spirit, as we stand for Biblical truth in the face of whatever comes our