His Courage

By J. L. Leifeste

“Behold, I have made your face strong against their faces...(9) Like adamant stone, harder than flint, I have made your forehead; do not be afraid of them, nor be dismayed at their looks, though they are a rebellious house” (Ezek. 3:8-9).

Courage is an ideal characteristic. Individuals admire it, even among their enemies. Nations reward it with medals. It is often recognized due to a person obeying orders under difficult circumstances. And it is best shown when a person gives his life, or her life, for others. Everyone wants courage. Jesus exhibited courage far surpassing all that we could imagine.


He was with God and was God (Jn. 1:1-18; 6:62; 8:56-58; 17:5; Heb. 1:2, 10-12). But with great courage prompted by godly love, He took on human form and became lower than the angels (Phil. 2:6-8; Heb. 2:9). It is impossible to assess every test of His courage while He was human. At the age of 12, He showed courage by remaining behind at the temple in Jerusalem, speaking with learned men (Lk. 2:41-51).

We see His courage as He endured the demands and pace of His earthly ministry. During about three and one-half years, He taught and healed great multitudes (Matt. 12:15; 19:1-2; Mk. 3:7-12; 4:1; 5:30-34; 6:33-34; Lk. 12:1). He did so many things that all of it could not be told (Jn. 21:25). And physically, this required times of solitude, rest, and prayer (Matt. 8:18-24; 14:13-14, 22-23; Lk. 5:15-16; Jn. 4:6).


Jesus was tempted by Satan himself (Matt. 4:1-11; Mk. 1:12-13; Lk. 4:1-13). He personally experienced the same basic temptations that the devil uses against us: the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life (1 Jn. 2:16). This enables Jesus to help His followers (Heb. 2:18; 4:15). The temptations He faced were very extreme. He had spent forty days and nights fasting alone in the wilderness. And because Jesus was the Son of God, He had to resist the temptation to misuse His great power. Yet, each time, He quickly rejected the devil by using the word of God (Matt. 4:4-11). His resistance against temptations is a great example for us. The word of God is likewise our weapon against temptations (Eph. 6:17; Heb. 4:12).

But this is not the only time Satan tempted Christ. Satan left Him “until an opportune time” (Lk. 4:13). The devil later used Peter to tempt Jesus (Matt. 16:23). Actually, Christ faced many hardships which involved temptations. But He never yielded to Satan. Jesus was sinless (Jn. 15:10; 2 Cor. 5:21; Heb. 4:15). And His perfect obedience to His Father enables Him to be the Savior of those who obey Him (Heb. 5:8-9).


It is very disappointing and frustrating when someone will not believe the truth. Jesus Christ is the Son of God (Matt. 3:17; 16:15-17; 17:5; Mk. 1:1; Jn. 1:34). He is the way of salvation for mankind (Isa. 53:10-11; Jn. 14:6; Acts 4:12; Rom. 3:24-26; 6:23). His teachings, miracles, and life are proof of these things. And, although many people did believe in Him, many did not believe that He was the Son of God.

When He taught them God’s word, some people became angry, tested Him, and mocked Him. “And as He said these things to them, the scribes and the Pharisees began to assail Him vehemently, and to cross-examine Him about many things, (54) lying in wait for Him, and seeking to catch Him in something He might say, that they might accuse Him” (Lk. 11:53-54; see Matt. 15:1-14; 19:1-12; 22:34-46; Mk. 11:15-18; Lk. 4:16-30; 20:1-40; Jn. 5:17-47; 6:35-66; 7:11-52; 8:12-59; 10:1-39).

Some people would not accept Him, even though He performed miracles by the power of God, often in their presence. “But although He had done so many signs before them, they did not believe in Him...(42) Nevertheless even among the rulers many believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue; (43) for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God” (Jn. 12:37, 42-43; see Matt. 9:1-8, 32-34; 12:22-45; 13:54-58; 16:1-4; 21:15-16; Lk. 6:6-11; 11:14-36; 13:10-17; Jn. 5:1-16; 6:22-36; 9:1-41; 11:45-57). At least once, He was even asked to leave because His miracles frightened the people (Lk. 8:36-37).

Some people refused to believe in Him, even though He lived a life of godly perfection (See Mk. 2:13-17; Jn. 2:13-17; 3:20; 15:18-19;17:14; 1 Pet. 2:22-24).

Jesus courageously faced unbelieving people throughout His ministry. He even showed courage during His trials and suffering on the cross.


There should be no doubt that the most courageous act of all time was when Jesus suffered as the sacrifice for our sins. He did not want to suffer and die (Jn. 12:27; Lk. 22:44). He knew He would soon undergo an exceedingly painful death and an even more painful separation from His heavenly Father. Yet, while Jesus was praying in Gethsemane, His disciples fell asleep. They should have remained awake and ready to comfort Him. In spite of these conditions, He prayed for His Father’s will to be done (Mk. 14:27, 32-42; Lk. 22:39-46).

Jesus faced His trials without His friends, who fled (Jn. 18:8-9; Matt. 26:56). The apostle Peter denied Him (Mk. 14:27-31; Matt. 26:58, 69-75). And no one argued for His innocence when He was wrongly condemned (Matt. 26:59-60; Mk. 14:55-56). He stood alone. He could have called for angels to defend Him (Matt. 26:53-54). Instead, He faced His accusers, accepting the fact that He would die for our sins (Isa. 53:3-12; 1 Cor. 15:3; Gal. 2:20: Eph. 5:2; 1 Pet. 2:23-24; 1 Jn. 3:16).

It took courage to endure the ridicule, beatings, degradations, and horrible death of crucifixion (Isa. 50:6; 53:5; Matt. 26:57-68; 27:1-61; Lk. 22:63-23:56; Jn. 18:12-19:42). “Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief. When You make His soul an offering for sin...(11) He shall see the labor of His soul, and be satisfied. By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many, for He shall bear their iniquities. (12)...He poured out His soul unto death, and He was numbered with the transgressors, and He bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors” (Isa. 53: 10-12). This gives us the chance to have spiritual salvation through Him (Matt. 20:28; Jn. 1:29; Rom. 5:6; 2 Cor. 5:15; Col. 1:18-23; Heb. 2:9; 9:28; 1 Pet. 2:24; 1 Jn. 3:5; 4:14).

Jesus had a magnificent courage. He took on human form, faced temptations and mockery, and endured as the sacrifice for our sins. He obeyed His heavenly Father in all things. He gave His life for everyone. And the results of His sacrifice last forever. We should offer praise for His courage. However, the courage of Jesus can be lost upon us. To truly recognize it and be grateful for it, we must become Christians. We must believe in Him (Jn. 8:24; 14:1; 20:31; Rom. 1:16; Gal. 3:26), repent of our sins (Lk. 13:3; Acts 2:38; 17:30; 2 Cor. 7:10; 2 Pet. 3:9), confess our belief (Matt. 10:32; Rom. 10:9-10; 1 Jn. 4:15), and be baptized in water for the forgiveness of our sins (Mk. 16:15-16; Rom. 6:3-5; Gal. 3:27; 1 Pet. 3:21). Then, we must follow His example by being faithful and enduring (Acts 14:22; Phil. 1:27-29; Heb. 10:23-25; Jas. 5:11; 1 Pet. 2:19-25; Rev. 2:10). And our endurance may be the best way of showing our appreciation for the greatest courage the world has ever seen.

“For the Lord God will help Me; therefore I will not be disgraced; therefore I have set My face like a flint, and I know that I will not be ashamed” (Isa. 50:7).