Jesus is still speaking to His disciples. He is speaking about their commitment and preparedness for what is ahead. I’m thinking the crowd was also listening in on their conversation because this message applies to them and us too.
In our reading today Jesus starts out by talking about acknowledging Him before men and Him acknowledging us before God. When traveling with His disciples there wasn’t much chance for them to deny knowing Him. It was obvious that they were together. But soon there would come a time when it wasn’t so obvious. The first instance of that was when Jesus was taken into custody and Peter, trying to see what was going on, denied knowing Jesus three times. This would be the last time Peter made that mistake. Many of Jesus’ disciples would lose their lives for not denying Him after He ascended to Heaven. They refused to deny Him before men; consequently He readily acknowledged them to His Father.
Jesus also spoke about blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. My bible helps talks about this being a “persistent and unrepentant resistance against the work of the Holy Spirit and his message concerning Jesus.” I can say that the religious leaders of the day were teetering on this line. The Jewish leaders of today are still on that path in their refusal to accept Jesus as the Messiah. Those that hold to this belief are beyond God’s reach of forgiveness.
The last part of Jesus message in our reading is about the Holy Spirit’s provision for those who stand for Jesus. He tells His disciples that there WILL be times coming where they will be dragged before the religious leaders on account of Him, BUT when they are that the Holy Spirit will stand with them in those times. Jesus says that the Holy Spirit Himself will give them what they need to say when they need it. They don’t have to study up the night before or rehearse their lines for days on end. The very Spirit of God will fill their mouths with His wisdom and His message for that time. He will not leave them on their own to plead Jesus case.
All of our verses today work together to create a picture of what Jesus’ disciples would soon face. They would stand before men with a choice to make. Would they deny Jesus and live or confess Him and receive death? Those who chose option two acknowledged the working of the Holy Spirit and the truth of Jesus’ work. The Holy Spirit Himself would fill their mouths with the testimony needed at that time and for those present. Many of them would die as a result of this stand but they were assured that when they did that they had a place in Heaven with Jesus. He would personally present them to His Father. We know what choice most of these men made; what choice would/will you make? What choice would/will I make? I pray I make the same choice they did if ever put in that situation.
Father God, my life is worth nothing without You. My eternity is torment apart from You. I choose You today and every day. Please give me the courage Jesus was talking about yesterday if ever faced with this situation. Holy Spirit, thank You for the promise of Your words in my time of need. Thank You for Your words in my daily writing too. I know I don’t always get everything out exactly like You show me, but I trust that what does come out, You use to touch hearts. Even if it means changing my words to be what You intended all along. If God can part the Red Sea He can certainly change a few ones and zeros in cyber space!
Thank You Jesus for the opportunity to stand for You. Thank You that currently it hasn’t cost me my life. Thank You that I KNOW you will be right there with me if it ever does. I love You and want to make You proud of me.