About Jesus  -  Steve Sweetman

Home Page

We Won't Wimp Out


"He was oppressed, and afflicted, yet He did not
open His mouth; He was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so He did not open His mouth". (Isaiah 53:7 - NIV)  There's no debate here.  Isaiah was speaking about Jesus in this prediction.


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 Roman province of Judea.  Isaiah predicted that Jesus would be speechless before this powerful man.  In John 18:28 to 40 Jesus was interrogated by Pilate, and, He was not silent.  He didn't wimp out as if he was a spineless submissive lamb.  In bold, yet calm confidence, He proclaimed to the Roman governor that He was a king.  Such a claim could be considered tyranny by Rome and therefore would not be tolerated by Roman authorities.       


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 confrontation.      


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 did. 


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 way. 


Home Page