This post is part of a series that will take us up to the Easter holiday that celebrates the Resurrection of our Lord.
Mark 13:9–13 (ESV)
9 “But be on your guard. For they will deliver you over to councils, and you will be beaten in synagogues, and you will stand before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them. 10 And the gospel must first be proclaimed to all nations. 11 And when they bring you to trial and deliver you over, do not be anxious beforehand what you are to say, but say whatever is given you in that hour, for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit. 12 And brother will deliver brother over to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death. 13 And you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.
Jesus spoke these words to his disciples as he prepared them for his pending death, resurrection, and departure from this world. The disciples were going to face severe persecution for being Jesus’ followers. Their persecution would help to spread the gospel to the ends of the earth. Jesus encouraged this group that the Holy Spirit would be with them and help them to know what to say when the time came. All they needed to do was remain faithful.
The followers of Christ are much the same as in Jesus’ day. Depending on where in the world you live, you may face anywhere from light to severe persecution. The sinful heart of mankind has not changed through the ages and it despises the things of God. We must not be surprised when a rebellious world wants nothing to do with Jesus or his followers. Instead, we must continue to be faithful to proclaim the gospel knowing that the same Holy Spirit that was at work in the lives of the original disciples is at work in us.
Father, thank you for sending your Son into the world so that we can be saved. Thank you also for sending your Spirit into our lives so that we can live for you. Amen.
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