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What’s the Risk?

The number of Jews who returned to Jerusalem after the Babylonian captivity was significantly lower than the number that had originally lived there. People wouldn’t return for a number of reasons, including:

  • the stigma non-Jews placed on Jews, which excluded them from trade;
  • the uphill battle of having to rebuild homes and re-establish businesses; and
  • the social pressure to follow God’s rules when living closer to the Temple.

It’s too hard.

It’ll make me an outcast.

I won’t be able to keep living the way I live now.

The reasons the Jews gave for not wanting to move back to Jerusalem are some of the same reasons we give when we don’t want to take a next step in our walks with Jesus.

Our natural inclination is to want to be normal and to fit in with the crowd. Being at the forefront of a move of God is risky. We will be different, we will be noticed, we will stand out. People will ask us hard questions. We will be excluded sometimes.

But the rewards of stepping up and representing Jesus are well worth the risk. The Jews who returned to Jerusalem—no matter how scared or reluctant they may have been—now have their names written for multitudes to see, all because they were faithful and took a risk.

Stepping up and standing out is risky and sometimes terrifying. But on the other side of your obedience is a Father who is more proud of you for being obedient than you could imagine.


  • What is your next step in your relationship with Jesus? Have you been unwilling to take it because you’re afraid of standing out?
  • When was the last time you took a risk and followed Jesus, no matter the cost? What came out of that experience?

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