Summary: In 1765, Joseph Grigg (1720-1768) of England wrote the wonderful words of the song "Jesus and Shall It Ever Be," which proposes several answers to the question, "Ashamed of Jesus?" The answers are various ways of saying "I will never be ashamed of him!"
Ashamed of Jesus?
Things have changed much in this country in the last 40 years. I now find myself surprised when I hear the name of Jesus mentioned in a public setting. Not only have judges handed out rulings that restrict the mention and exhibition of things pertaining to the Christian faith, but it has also come to be viewed as impolitic, not politically correct, to mention Jesus or to do anything to demonstrate our faith or even refer to it in a group setting where non-Christians are present. We may still decorate around our homes at Christmas if we wish, but not on public property - not anything that acknowledges Jesus.
Open your song books to number 339 - Jesus and Shall It Ever Be
In 1765, Joseph Grigg (1720-1768) of England wrote these wonderful words. They were later been set to several pieces of music and have touched the hearts of people for 240 years.
To introduce the thoughts captured in this song, let us read two scriptures.
Mark 8:38 “For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”
Rom 10:8-9 “But what does it say? "The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart" (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
Jesus, and shall it ever be
“Jesus, and shall it ever be,
A mortal man, ashamed of Thee?”
Could there ever come a time when I, a mere mortal, will be ashamed
• of the immortal creator and savior of the world,
• who laid aside the glory he had with the Father and
• so that he might pay the ransom for sin,
• taste the temptation that falls upon the human race, and
• become the high priest of all mankind forever?
• who fed the multitudes, healed the sick, raised the dead, and
• wept at the tomb of Lazarus?
• who calmed the sea, who walked on the water?
• inaugurated a new and living way in the very presence of God himself,
• that everyone who believes on Jesus’ name may follow at will, and
• approach the throne of grace, as often and as long as they desire?
Shall it ever be that I will be ashamed of him?
“Ashamed of Thee, whom angels praise,
Whose glory shines through endless days?”
• At whose birth the angels sang, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace, goodwill toward men.”
• The one of whom angels in John’s vision in heaven said:
“Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, "Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!"” Rev 5:11-12
• As the song says, his glory is unending. When he prayed for his disciples before going out to the garden of Gethsemane, he said, “I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.” John 17:4-5 (Jesus was unashamed to take the glory that is rightfully his.)
• In his life on earth he laid his glory aside, as Paul wrote to the Philippians, and “made himself nothing.” Phil 2:7
• The writer to the Hebrews says he was made for a time “lower than the angels.” -“You made him for a little while lower than the angels; you have crowned him with glory and honor, putting everything in subjection under his feet." Now in putting everything in subjection to him, he left nothing outside his control. At present, we do not yet see everything in subjection to him. But we see him who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.” Heb 2:7-9
Will I be ashamed of him?
“Ashamed of Jesus! sooner far
Let evening blush to own a star!”
• It would be more fitting for the evening to be ashamed to fall because in it the brilliance of the stars is seen. Shall evening be ashamed of the stars that light up the night sky, and dazzle us with their beauty, and speak to us of God? The writer of Psalm 19, thought to have been David, wrote, “The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork. Day unto day utters speech, And night unto night reveals knowledge. There is no speech nor language Where their voice is not heard.”