John 16.33 records, I have told you these things so that in Me you may have peace. You will have suffering in this world. Be courageous! I have conquered the world.
Be courageous. What does this mean for us as Christians? How about, be willing to identify with Jesus before men regardless of what they might do to us, but especially when they persecute us. They persecuted Jesus, Himself God, when He lived among us. Why did they persecute Him?
They persecuted Jesus for what He said not for what He did. They justified their actions by His non-compliance with their rules, mainly healing people on the Sabbath, but it was His words of blasphemy, to them anyway, that caused them to crucify Him.
The people loved Jesus for He often did them well. He fed them, healed them and released them from spiritual bondage. Yet His words were a stumbling block to them. He spoke to them in parables so they would be ever hearing but never understanding. His words kept the crowd from following Him completely for when they got too close His words told them to sin no more or to sell all they had and give it to the poor.
So too our words cause offense when they declare Jesus is the only Savior and God. Our words declaring humanity’s need for a Savior because we are born alienated from God and hell-bent toward doing evil are likewise misunderstood and not tolerated. These words, and all of God’s words as recorded in Scripture, offend men and cause them to turn against us, despite our seeking to do good to them and for them.
It is easy for Christians to be nice and to do good. It is hard for Christians to be courageous and speak boldly the Name of Jesus to men so that people might be saved.