“So when it was evening on that day, the first day of the week and when the doors were shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, ‘Peace be with you’” (John 20:19).

Hiding for fear of an entire people group seems a bit of a stretch. Out of an estimated forty to fifty thousand Jews populating Jerusalem early in the first century, only the High Priest, Caiaphas, and his power-holding band of leaders had any vested interest in this spineless little band of Jesus-followers. John, however, is being honest enough to share their overblown fear. Such is the nature of paranoia. We see it even today. Though research indicates that only 5-10 percent of any world religion, including Christianity, has a radicalized element of followers, paranoia leads us to believe that the threat is pervasive when, in fact, it is isolated. Either way, it is better to die in the path of service than to sit in our sanctuaries afraid.

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