Bible Heroes & Villains

Cowards of the Bible

The Way of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane—the Way of heroism—is the Way to produce a harvest of righteousness and peace” (Hebrews 12:11).

I’ve decided to expand the category of “Villains of the Bible” to include those who were “Cowards of the Bible.”  Why?

As I tried to think of people who were “Villains of the Bible,” I realized there are not as many villains as I expected. Most people are not evil through and through. Those caricatures of evil villains are found in movies, especially “action movies” that feature massive special effects.

In the Bible—as in real life—people, their actions, and their motives are complex. Furthermore, those who become heroes in the Bible usually have moments of weakness that they must overcome before they can become heroes.

As the saying goes, if someone in a dangerous situation isn’t scared, they’re not a hero. They’re a fool!

Heroes are people who are scared to death, but nevertheless do the right thing. The brave thing! The courageous thing! The heroic thing!

Many “Heroes of the Bible” were “Cowards of the Bible” first!

After all, even Jesus had a moment of sorrow. A moment of anguish. It came in the Garden of Gethsemane just before he was arrested, tortured and crucified.

In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus said, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death.” (Matthew 26:38). Then he prayed: “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” Indeed, he was in such anguish that he prayed even “more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.” (Luke 22:42-44).

Nevertheless, Jesus overcame his sorrow. Jesus overcame his anguish.

Jesus did the right thing. Jesus did the brave thing. Jesus did the courageous thing. Jesus did the heroic thing.

Indeed, Jesus became the greatest hero of the Bible.

As we walk in the Way of Jesus, we too will face many moments of sorrow. Many moments of anguish. Many moments when we are tempted to be a coward.

May we always overcome these temptations to be a coward. May we always find the faith to continue walking in the Way of Jesus—in the Way that will make us a Hero of the Faith. (Hebrews 11:1-12:13).

How? By doing the right thing. By doing the brave thing. By doing the courageous thing! By doing the heroic thing!

For the Way of Jesus—the Way of heroism—is the Way to produce “a harvest of righteousness and peace” (Hebrews 12:11).


For additional thoughts about Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, please read my book, Hoping in the LORD, at pages 251-266.