Moral Cowardice
John 7:1-18
After these things Jesus walked in Galilee: for he would not walk in Jewry, because the Jews sought to kill him.…

I. THE FACT — "No man spake openly of Him." To this there was a large exception. His friends were silent, not His enemies. They were loud enough in their reproaches, etc. This is the case still to a large and lamentable extent. How much there is said and written against Christ which His professed followers allow to pass without protest or counter demonstration! There is no lack of private confession it may be. They that fear the Lord still speak "one to another"; but those who love Him will surely speak to others also. What Christ wants is confession before men, for the defence of His honour, the confutation of unbelief, the extension of His cause.

II. ITS EXPLANATION — "For fear of the Jews." This fear was and is twofold.

1. Nervous shrinking. To men, e.g., in the position of Nicodemus, there was not much to dread from the hostile majority. So many to-day hesitate to confess Christ and rebuke sin, say, to relatives and intimate friends, not because of consequences, but because of the tax it would make upon a highly-strung nervous organization. Over sensitiveness an enemy to the cause of Christ.

2. Rank cowardice. Taking sides for and with Christ in the case of many then meant pains and penalties, and they were not prepared to pay the cost of their convictions. To some extent discipleship still involves tribulation, but of how much milder a type! Yet men and women seal their lips because they are afraid of being called contemptuous names.


1. Our duty — to make a bold, manly, and decisive stand for Christ.

(1) He deserves it. What a stand He made for us! hie fear of the Jews deterred Him from pleading our cause.

(2) He will reward it with present approval and final blessedness.

2. Our privilege. "God hath not given us the spirit of cowardice," etc. Christ does not ask us to under. take this or any duty without qualifying us for its discharge.

3. Our warning. "Whoso is ashamed of Me of him will I be ashamed."

(J. W. Burn.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: After these things Jesus walked in Galilee: for he would not walk in Jewry, because the Jews sought to kill him.

WEB: After these things, Jesus was walking in Galilee, for he wouldn't walk in Judea, because the Jews sought to kill him.

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