The Wrong Tune…
There’s a great scene in the old Blues Brothers movie (John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd) where they ‘substitute themselves’ for the band which has been scheduled at a rough country bar. They come out with their typical (and great, imo) ‘blues’ intro and are greeted by…crickets. Nothing. No welcome, no applause. It quickly goes spirals downward and bottles begin to be thrown at them. They realize that they’re playing to the wrong crowd, and change their music to fit the audience. (The ‘Stand By Your Man’ song is comic genius!)
The Wrong Audience…
I was reading the Gospel of John today and I realized that there were those who ‘played to the wrong audience’ there as well.
Specifically, in John 12:42-43 says, “Yet at the same time many even among the leaders believed in him. But because of the Pharisees they would not openly acknowledge their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue; for they loved human praise more than praise from God.”
These people were leaders.
They had seen the works that Jesus did (in John 11, Jesus had raised Lazarus from the dead!) He had cast out demons, restored sight to the blind, healed the leper, enabled the lame to walk, multiplied loaves and fishes to feed a great number of people…
They had seen all this, and heard His teaching–as one with actual ‘authority’ and understanding.
That’s why they had come to believe in Him.
But rather than changing their tune to get in line with their newfound faith, they hid that faith, and ‘played to the wrong audience’–the Pharisees.
They knew (rightly) that going all-in and declaring their faith in Jesus would mean getting excommunicated from the synagogue. They knew it would cost them, socially, financially, emotionally and relationally.
They refused to make that choice.
…and from the writing of the Gospels until today, everyone who reads these verses knows that their refusal to align themselves with Jesus was out of fear. Fear of the cost.
Make no mistake: The Fears were very real.
However, those fears were allowed to keep them away from Jesus, and therefore, their fears won the battle. Their ‘faith’ succumbed and was defeated (at least at that time).
We Get Confused…
Today, there is still a cost to follow Jesus. In fact, I believe that cost is increasing and will continue to do so, rapidly–even in our culture.
There is–and will be–increasing pressure to deny our faith, or at least to ‘keep quiet about it’ out of fear.
Fear of being ‘exposed’ as a Bible-Believing Christian, fear of being ‘labeled’ in a negative way, even (in the not-too-distant-future) fear of being pressured to conform to govt. policies which directly go against our allegiance to Jesus.
There will be a cost!
Those ‘fears’ are real!
So, what will we do?
Will we ‘play to the wrong audience’, or will we stand boldly, consistently and faithfully, and declare that Jesus IS Lord and Savior, no matter the cost.
Time to Stand…and Shine!
In fact, I believe that this will be one of the best times for The Church in America!
I believe that we will SHINE like stars in the night sky, the radiant Bride of Christ…IF we worship Him fully, and are willing to pay the costs.
By His grace, in His strength, I Will Stand!
Will you stand with me?