Read: Luke 12:1-12
Thousands of people began to gather as Jesus’ preaching continues to attract the masses. His first concern for His disciples is to warn them about the yeast of the Pharisees, that is, hypocrisy–all will be revealed. But this seems trivial compared to this statement:
But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after your body has been killed, has authority to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him. Luke 12:5
Jesus is adamant, God is Holy and just. He is the ultimate authority. This is not so popular in today’s society, but it’s just as true today as it was when He was speaking to the crowds.
This is great news for followers of Jesus and a horrible revelation for those who refuse to listen to this message. To drive the point even further, Jesus teaches that we can talk bad about Him, but shutting down the Holy Spirit has eternal, extreme consequences:
And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven. Luke 12:10
Those who refuse to accept Christ time after time after time are guilty of this ultimate sin and the just judge will pronounce the sentence when all is revealed.
Tough words on Friday, yes? I’m in no way feeling righteous, not even close! If anything, I’m convicted more today than ever before and I’m praying that I will be stirred to action.
From the NIV Application Commentary this morning, one of the authors recalled his college days in Young Life when they often asked this question:
If you were on trial for being a Christian, would there be evidence to convict you?
I wonder what would happen if we put that in the bulletin on Sunday? I’m not trying to encourage a legalistic, checklist-based faith, but would my actions today convince anyone that I’m guilty of being a fully devoted follower of Jesus Christ?
If it’s true that nothing will be hidden (Luke 12:3), the preponderance of evidence should easily convince the most unbiased jury that I am guilty! In the trial process, the evidence sought by the accuser would not focus on what I did not do, think, or say, rather, they would focus on things I did. Now I’m feeling a bit concerned, even defensive. Thankfully, Jesus already knows this is going to be our response and gives us this affirmation:
Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. Luke 12:7
The ultimate defense attorney for those who follow Christ and who come under scrutiny as a result: The Holy Spirit. He will tell us what to say, and when, and how.
Go out and be the testimony of Christ with confidence. You are aligned with the Creator and commissioned to spread the gospel with His backing. May your trial be an open and shut case! And may Jesus be known more as a result.