Defending God: Luke 12:1-12

Focus Passage: Luke 12:1-12 (GW)

Meanwhile, thousands of people had gathered. They were so crowded that they stepped on each other. Jesus spoke to his disciples and said, “Watch out for the yeast of the Pharisees. I’m talking about their hypocrisy. Nothing has been covered that will not be exposed. Whatever is secret will be made known. Whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight. Whatever you have whispered in private rooms will be shouted from the housetops.

“My friends, I can guarantee that you don’t need to be afraid of those who kill the body. After that they can’t do anything more. I’ll show you the one you should be afraid of. Be afraid of the one who has the power to throw you into hell after killing you. I’m warning you to be afraid of him.

“Aren’t five sparrows sold for two cents? God doesn’t forget any of them. Even every hair on your head has been counted. Don’t be afraid! You are worth more than many sparrows. I can guarantee that the Son of Man will acknowledge in front of God’s angels every person who acknowledges him in front of others. But God’s angels will be told that I don’t know those people who tell others that they don’t know me. 10 Everyone who says something against the Son of Man will be forgiven. But the person who dishonors the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.

11 “When you are put on trial in synagogues or in front of rulers and authorities, don’t worry about how you will defend yourselves or what you will say. 12 At that time the Holy Spirit will teach you what you must say.”

Read Luke 12:1-12 in context and/or in other translations on BibleGateway.com!

While Jesus was warning the disciples about the dangers of hypocrisy and avoiding the subtle influences of culture, He shares with them a powerful promise that we all can learn from. Before being derailed by someone in the crowd interrupting Him, Jesus tells the disciples, “When you are put on trial in synagogues or in front of rulers and authorities, don’t worry about how you will defend yourselves or what you will say. At that time the Holy Spirit will teach you what you must say.” (v. 11-12)

Of all the warnings, promises, and challenges Jesus gave the disciples, I imagine this one was among the most equally faced among these earliest followers. I believe every single one of them was pulled in before synagogues, rulers, and authorities to defend themselves and the message of Jesus.

I would imagine this could be the most intimidating thing for anyone to face, except for what Jesus promises will happen during these times. Jesus shares that when we are placed on trial for God, the Holy Spirit will teach us what to say, or in other words, the Holy Spirit will speak through us. The promise Jesus shared was for both His disciples in the first century and all of His followers who face trials from that point forward.

In this promise, Jesus takes all of the pressure off of us and He places it on God. While I doubt that this makes being present in the moment any less fearful, we can know without a doubt that God loves us, He values us, and He will use our lives for His glory.

Jesus tells us in this promise that God will defend Himself through us. It is not up to us to defend God. If we try to defend God on our own merit, we will fail. The only way for us to win is to let the Holy Spirit defend God through us. When we win using the Holy Spirit, we may not be spared torture, and we may not keep our life, but we will be saved for eternity – which is the only life that matters.

This thought was inspired by studying the Walking With Jesus "Reflective Bible Study" package. To discover insights like this in your own study time, click here and give Reflective Bible Study a try today!

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