Jesus was the target of denial of free speech in His day. This may sound like a radical statement to make but a cursory reading of the gospels makes it very obvious. The religious rulers of his day not only did not like what he was saying and teaching but took it upon themselves to strategize His marginalization and eventual death by crucifixion.
Jesus, the Word had become very popular in his day among the people because he did not teach as the Scribes and Pharisees but as one who had authority. What He said made good common sense to them. The people already had concerns for the kinds of things that the spiritual leadership were imposing upon them and they felt that Jesus was putting things in proper perspective. His teachings and the miracles he performed challenged the authority of the spiritual leaders. As a result, instead of recognizing their errors and returning to the true teachings of the Torah, they begin taking steps to stop Jesus from teaching and eventually to get Him out of the way.
Freedom of speech is a principle that was intentionally built into our own United States Constitution through the Bill of Rights. In fact, there were some colonies that would not ratify the Constitution and join the rest of the states because it did not include a Bill of Rights. The Bill of Rights was soon drafted and ratified and became a point of unification among the original 13 states. Our founding fathers not only believed that we as a country needed to have the right to express our opinions about things, but they also knew in the end manipulators and those that brought forth principles that were not good would be exposed and ultimately good rational reasoning would triumph. This is our United States history. The Bible is clear that the day is coming when the right to teach, live, and express trust in the Word of God as our conscience dictates will be seen as inappropriate because it will not agree with the ways of the time. When this happens our right to freedom of speech will be marginalized and eventually taken away.
I believe that Jesus coming is soon. Perhaps sooner than we expect. God has commissioned His people everywhere to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ while the opportunity is here. It is my prayer that our purpose in doing whatever it is that we do as individuals and churches have one purpose in mind and that is to share the “Good News of Salvation” with people everywhere so that they can understand God's saving grace, accept His gift of salvation, and follow Him in all things. God tells us that His people will experience a time of great suffering and persecution just before Jesus comes. He also promises that He will stand with them as they stand firm in the calling of Jesus Christ and follow Him no matter what.
There are many voices expressing concern today that free speech is being limited in our country. God's people everywhere and those interested in our country continuing to be able to be a democratic republic must insist on freedom of speech. This of course does not condone violence of any kind. God did not call us to violently try to accomplish his work but rather to teach truth from the Bible, respect our government, and live in peace with our neighbors. May God bless as we live out the Gospel of Jesus Christ in our homes, churches, communities, nation, and world today.
Lord God Almighty, I ask of you today that you will help us to live for you in all parts of our life. Please help us to stand for what is right and live in such ways that no-one can fault the followers of Jesus Christ. In Jesus name, amen.
Mark 14:1 “After two days it was the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread. And the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might take Him by trickery and put Him to death.”
Ephesians 6:13 “Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.”
Revelation 13:15 “He was granted power to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed.”