John 7:10-13 (NLT)
10 But after his brothers left for the festival, Jesus also went, though secretly, staying out of public view. 11 The Jewish leaders tried to find him at the festival and kept asking if anyone had seen him. 12 There was a lot of grumbling about him among the crowds. Some argued, �He�s a good man,� but others said, �He�s nothing but a fraud who deceives the people.� 13 But no one had the courage to speak favorably about him in public, for they were afraid of getting in trouble with the Jewish leaders.

The event above happens during the Jewish Festival of Shelters. Jesus had sent the disciples ahead to the festival. Jesus went later, but remained out of public view for a portion of the festival. The Jewish leaders were always trying to challenge Jesus so they were seeking Him out for a confrontation. The people witnessed this. Some commented Jesus was a good man while others called Him a fraud. Yet due to fear no one had the courage to speak favorably about Jesus in public.

Abraham Lincoln once said, �To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards out of men.� There are times when we must push aside the fear of what others will think and stand up and do what is right. We cannot let fear control us for even God�s word says in 2 Timothy 1:7, �For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.�

Two key parts in speaking up is to insure we have the self-discipline in that our actions show us true to our words. Secondly our motives should be out of love; for if we speak up with any other motive someone will see through those motives. It is with these principles we can find the power and courage to speak up for what is right.

The Jewish leaders attacked Jesus because they saw how the crowds were drawn to Him. They feared their leadership would be taken. Sadly those who saw the true love, compassion and mercy of Jesus often kept quiet because they feared what might happen to them. And I would venture to say there are many who might do the same today.

Fear comes from the enemy who would wish us to keep silent when an injustice is made. Let us not be found cowards, but people of conviction who would stand up for those things that are right and true.