John 8:59, “Then they took up stones to throw at Him; but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.”
He stood before an assembled crowd of Pharisees and learned men, and spoke the truth of the Kingdom to them. Love compelled Him to reveal His true nature, in the hopes of reaching their hearts, in the hopes of causing their eyes to be opened to the reality that the Son of God was standing in their midst.
Although He was attempting to reach them, He did not water down His words, for His desire was not to beguile them or entice them, but to speak the uncompromising truth to them. Often times the price of speaking the truth is rejection, and on some occasions it is even met with violent outbursts and retaliation. Some would question why Christ would hide Himself, and the answer is not because He was fearful of the stones, or afraid for His life, but merely because His time had not yet come.
The greatest pain for a man of God who is called to be in a public arena and preach the Word, is not death, but rather indifference toward the truth, and rejection of the message of repentance and salvation he preaches. This is the most noble of pain, because it is not fueled by personal interest, or one’s ego.
It was not failure that preoccupied the apostles when they were persecuted, but the baseness of those who rejected the good news, unwilling to open their hearts and minds. Martyrs do not bemoan their own deaths, but that of their persecutors.
Today the Pharisees are still throwing stones, still defending their preconceived notions, their denominations, or certain brand of doctrine. Unwilling to see the truth before their eyes, they resort to the one thing they can, violence, in the hopes of silencing the messenger.
Time is the great equalizer, and has a way of vindicating the truth sooner or later. One who speaks with the authority of God, knows that eventually the word will come to pass for they were not his words, but the words of He who is eternal. Though for a season they may suffer rejection and even persecution, the eventuality of fulfillment is as sure as the sun rising every morning.
It is easy to grow discouraged, and if not for the wall of prayer and fasting that accompanies the life of every true believer, being met with constant rejection can have an impact on your heart, until finally one considers throwing in the towel, justifying his actions by saying 'I have no vested interest in continuing on, I gain nothing from my labors, my only reward is scoffing and rejection.' But then you gaze upon the One, the Christ, and see His witness, see His perseverance, see His steadfastness, and it gives you the strength to go on one more day, to write one more article, to preach one more sermon.
All one can do is press on in faith and obedience, knowing that the reward of obedience is by no means a small one. The path is never easy, and the reaction to truth runs the gamut, so much so that even after decades in ministry one is still often surprised. Truth will outlast us all, and when we are but dust and ashes, brittle bones hid beneath the ground, truth will still abide.
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.