And when they bring you unto the synagogues, and unto magistrates, and powers, take ye no thought how or what thing ye shall answer, or what ye shall say: For the Holy Ghost shall teach you in the same hour what ye ought to say.(Luke 12:11-12)
Jesus’ teaching in Luke 12 is pretty similar to our theme in Mark 8 until it was interrupted by a man seeking a ruling from Jesus on an inheritance issue.
In the mean time, when there were gathered together an innumerable multitude of people, insomuch that they trode one upon another, he began to say unto his disciples first of all, Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. For there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; neither hid, that shall not be known. Therefore whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light; and that which ye have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed upon the housetops.(Luke 12:1-3)
First of all Jesus warned the disciples of the danger and shortsightedness of hypocrisy,calling it the leaven of the Pharisees. As Alford Eidersheim defined it, hypocrisy falls into the category of either pretending to be something you aren’t, or pretending not to be something you really are.
Not all Pharisees were hypocrites, but the system of Pharisaic worship, evangelism and life tended to reinforce hypocrisy; by emphasizing the external show of godliness, over and against the true spirituality of simple faith and inward devotion. Pharisaism , at one time the back to the Bible movement of its day, by the third and fourth generation degenerated into a system of mere outward piety and observance.
But Jesus would have his disciples to be genuine. Christians are to be real, and to be willing to be known for who they are, nothing more or less.
After all, hypocrisy is very short-sighted, sooner or later all will be revealed, there can be nothing kept secret. God will lay bare and expose all that truly lies in the hearts of men, so we may as well be sincere and real right now. All pretense and play acting will soon be exposed for all to see at the judgment!
In this sense, Christians are those who have stepped out into the light of God’s exposure.
Secondly, the whole issue of who we fear needs to be settled once and for all, for Jesus would have us know we are in a cosmic conflict, and neutrality is impossible.
And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.(Luke 12:4-5)
Who are we to fear? Mind you that fear here not only refers to craven dread, but also to esteem. Who do we look up to? Who do we live for? Who are we trying to please? This issue needs to be settled, before they drag us up before judges or synagogues(or mosques). There are only two choices, we either fear, dread, regard and esteem man, or God.
Man can hurt and reward you, but only partially and temporarily. If man rewards you, but God punishes you forever, in the fierceness of his wrath, you are really in trouble. However if man punishes you, or falsely accuses you, yet in the next life, God vindicates you forever, You are blessed ! God either punishes or rewards , forever.
A Christian is someone who has decided who He lives to please, who he fears and regards.
Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God? But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.( Luke 12:6-7)
After all, it is alright to fear God. I know He has power to cast me body and soul into hell, but Jesus would counter that somber thought with this one, that God is good. God is so good, and so attentive to we who fear him. Jesus would have us fear a God who cares.
What are sparrows going for lately on the market? Aren’t they pretty cheap? Yet, a sparrow can’t fall from a tree branch with God seeing and knowing about it. He has numbered the hairs of my head. I can fear a God like that, because I know He loves me.
Also I say unto you, Whosoever shall confess me before men, him shall the Son of man also confess before the angels of God: But he that denieth me before men shall be denied before the angels of God. And whosoever shall speak a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but unto him that blasphemeth against the Holy Ghost it shall not be forgiven. (Luke 12:8-10)
But the nature of the conflict is the confession or denial of eternal Truth. All must take sides, and these confessions or denials are of eternal import. The pressure will so come to bear, that those who try to avoid the conflict will be tempted to “blaspheme the Holy Spirit”! When the ultimate test comes, which is the Mark of the beast, a non confession of Jesus, becomes a denial of him, and vice versa.
This is why we don’t have o rehearse, for the issue os not so much how the confession is made, but the person who makes the confession. Long before we are drug up before any tribunal, we should have already decided to forswear pretense and hypocrisy. We are already willing to be known as christians, disciples of Jesus, sinners redeemed by God’s grace.
Furthermore, we have already settled the issue of fear. We know who we fear, God. We don’t fear what man can do to us, because in Jesus we have already conquered death, we believe that the world to come is what we are being prepared for, not this world, with its shortlived rewards and honors.
Finally, we have already identified with Jesus, sharing with him the reproach of this world, the hatred of a humanistic, God rejecting culture.
The point is not the specific Words we say, or the order or argument we make, but the person whom God has prepared, and set apart by His Spirit in countless lesser battles and confrontations leading up to the great tribunal. This is Why Jesus told us not to rehearse,
And when they bring you unto the synagogues, and unto magistrates, and powers, take ye no thought how or what thing ye shall answer, or what ye shall say: For the Holy Ghost shall teach you in the same hour what ye ought to say.( Luke 12:11-12)