Monday, January 5, 2009

Hypocrisy and Fear

In reading through Luke 12:1-12 this morning I had a few thoughts:

Each paragraph here is familiar to me, but I never realized they were connected to each other. This is all one teaching from Jesus... how does each part fit together as a whole?

Jesus is speaking to His disciples, in the midst of a crowd of many thousands. He tells them:

to be on guard against the hypocrisy of the Pharisees
to not fear those who could kill them
to fear God, who has the power of hell
God will not forget them, He knows the smallest details of their lives
acknowledge Jesus in public and He will acknowledge us before angels
deny or disown Him in public and He will disown us before angels
blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is unforgivable
do not worry about how you will defend yourself, the Holy Spirit will tell you what to say

Can you see the connections now?
The pharisees claim to know God but do not. They will seek to kill those who follow Jesus, but we should not be afraid because they only have power over the body, not the soul. God has the power to send us to heaven or hell, so we should be in awe of God. God also knows us intimately and cares for us, so as we face persecution we should be encouraged to stay the course, remembering that as we stand strong here on earth, Jesus is honoring us in heaven. If we do trust Jesus, the Holy Spirit will be in us, giving us the words to say when we are attacked or persecuted, allowing us to acknowledge God in those circumstances.

I confess I do not understand the statement about blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. I have a feeling that it has to do with God drawing us to Him, giving us words that please Him, our ability to come to God, etc. Something to think about...
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