Was Jesus a coward?

I am reading about Jesus preaching in the synagogue in his hometown of Nazareth. His text was Isaiah 61:1-2 and how He was the fulfillment of the text. Immediately the men of the synagogue asked, “Is this not Joseph’s son?” It was at this point He called their attention to the Biblical fact that Israel never believed her own prophets and went on to relate how it was not uncommon for God’s prophets to go outside of Israel to do His work. He spoke of Naaman of Syria being healed of leprosy when there were many lepers in Israel. He told about sparing the widow of Zarephath during the 3 1/2 years of famine even though there were many hungry widows in Israel. Scripture reports:

When they heard these things [all in the synagogue] were filled with wrath.

And rose up and thrust Him out of the city, and led Him unto the brow of the hill on which their city was built, that they might cast Him down headlong.

But He, passing through the midst of them, went His way.      (Luke 4:28-30)

This reminded me of another time when something quite similar had happened. Come with me over to John 8. Jesus is telling the Pharisees that He is the light of the world. Not believing Him to have any divinity, they immediately dispute His premise. Jesus says they do not accept His statements because they are not of the Father. They accuse Him of having a demon, and so on until finally in verse 59

They took up stones to cast at Him; but Jesus hid Himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.

I used to watch a show called Kung Fu when I was a young adult. I was reminded of a clip from one of the segments as I became aware of Jesus walking away from difficult situations. Some may say that His walking away was a sign of cowardice. The great master in the clip teaches that walking away is not cowardice. See what you think.

Having mastered the art of Kung Fu, a student is better able to use the strength of his body to defend himself and others than anyone he may encounter. If so, shouldn’t he always defend himself and others? The great master says, “No, that is why he needs discipline. So that he only uses his power in two situations: to save his own life or the lives of others. To fight with those who provoke a fight or who are incapable of doing real harm is not respecting the other–walk away from them. Jesus is all powerful. He could always win against any opponent. When they heckle or accuse or begin to make moves that he knows can’t really hurt him–he walks away. It is not His time yet. The All-Powerful decides. I sometimes wonder if He didn’t make Himself invisible in order to walk away in the midst of them. I’ve been thinking a lot about this. I’ll share it with you another time.

Walking with Jesus, the Light of my life [John 8:12],



6 comments on “Was Jesus a coward?

  1. Hi dear friend Dawn! Not that I’d want to endorse Kung Fu, but you have no idea how much this post has benefited me this morning. Very timely. Thank you, and God bless your day!

    • Blessings, Dear Sylvia. I think we can learn much from everyone…even those whose philosophy of life differs from ours in major ways. We can take what is good and leave the rest behind. I found many useful lessons in the episodes of Kung Fu, though I do not believe its philosophy in its totality. I am with you in this and I appreciate your taking the time to tell me it helped you this morning. Hugs to you as you begin another day with Jesus.

  2. I know you know this already Dawn, but I feel like I want to shout it . . definitely not a coward! He was a Man with a mission . . . headed to the cross and not prepared to let anything get in the way of the fulfillment of every prophecy concerning the birth, ministry, death and resurrection of the messiah.
    He knew His death would come but it would be according to the plans set out from before the foundation of the world. Great post, kind of got me fired up. ☺♥

  3. I don’t often see you fired up. You are a faithful, thoughtful, steady servant, from my perspective. Wow! I bet you’d have been right with the Mary’s at the foot of the cross AND first to the tomb. I’d follow you any day!

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