Reading the Word
Luke 12:8–12 (ESV)
8 “And I tell you, everyone who acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man also will acknowledge before the angels of God, 9 but the one who denies me before men will be denied before the angels of God. 10 And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but the one who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven. 11 And when they bring you before the synagogues and the rulers and the authorities, do not be anxious about how you should defend yourself or what you should say, 12 for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.”
Parallel Texts: Matthew 12:31-32; Mark 3:28-30
Understanding and Applying the Word
Living for Christ in a hostile world will bring trouble. In verses 9-10, Jesus warns his disciples about denying him to avoid persecution. In yesterday’s passage (Luke 12:4-7), Jesus told his disciples not to fear persecution and death, but to fear God alone because he alone is the final judge. Therefore there is no reason to fear if one belongs to God and there is no reason to deny Jesus.
In the next verses, Jesus speaks of blaspheming the Holy Spirit. He calls this the unforgivable sin. Many often wonder what this means and also if they might have committed this sin. In the context, it really is not that difficult to determine what this sin is. It is the hardening of one’s heart against the work of the Spirit of God (cf. Acts 7:51). When one hears the message of salvation through Jesus Christ, but rejects it and continues to do so, it is sin and will not be forgiven. Rejection of Jesus leaves one in sin and without forgiveness.
It may be difficult to live in the word for Jesus, but Jesus told his followers that they need not worry about what they would say. The Holy Spirit would teach them what to say. God does not leave us alone in the world to live for him. He is with us always to give us strength, and wisdom, and encouragement. May we go into the world with the message of Jesus Christ crucified for sinners.
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