Trust in Jesus for every situation. When you are persecuted or attacked, even for following God, make it your mission that he will be acknowledged as your Lord in front of all. Leave the rest to him. He will give us words of grace and faith and eternal life…
12 “But before all this, they will seize you and persecute you. They will hand you over to synagogues and put you in prison, and you will be brought before kings and governors, and all on account of my name. 13 And so you will bear testimony to me. 14 But make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves. 15 For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict. 16 You will be betrayed even by parents, brothers and sisters, relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death. 17 Everyone will hate you because of me. 18 But not a hair of your head will perish. 19 Stand firm, and you will win life.
Jesus taught his followers that a day would be coming in which they would be persecuted, handed over to authorities and even their own religious leaders because of Jesus. It would be their testimony for the Lord Jesus.
Can you imagine following someone who assured you of attack and arrest just for being with them? We would not normally follow such a person. Unless he held the keys to life. The miracle-working, God-filled, prophetic-teaching saviour Jesus was different. Is different. From anyone who ever walked the face of the earth.
The imperative in vs. 14 catches our attention: ‘make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves.’
Long ago, I was the attacker. Before I knew Jesus I attacked his followers. I know this territory all too well. I was sharing my story with some young people recently, and the very next day one of them was persecuted for following Jesus.
It may have been the first time that it happened for that young man in which the persecutor was someone who mattered. For some reason, my friend wanted to be respected by that person – wanted to be esteemed by that person – and he cut him down. Cut my friend down hard for trusting Jesus. It stings.
No one was arrested. My friend’s life was not in danger. Not like the early church was at risk.
Jesus says, don’t plan how you will defend yourself in such situations. Don’t script and rehearse your defense. Trust Jesus. He will give you the words to say which your adversaries cannot resist or contradict. This isn’t winning an argument, by the way. This will be illuminating faith, shining Jesus to the, revealing grace in the midst of attack.
Standing firm is not a military response. It’s a firm conviction. Jesus has our souls firm in his hands. We will not perish for eternity. We will be with him forever. We will win life, and so we do not need to win a war of human words.
Trust in Jesus for every situation. Make it your mission that he will be acknowledged as your Lord in front of all. Leave the rest to him.