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What’s he saying to THEM? (3)

In the meantime, when so many thousands of the people had gathered together that they were trampling one another, he began to say to his disciples first, “…………..“And I tell you, everyone who acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man also will acknowledge before the angels of God, but the one who denies me before men will be denied before the angels of God. And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but the one who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven. And when they bring you before the synagogues and the rulers and the authorities, do not be anxious about how you should defend yourself or what you should say, for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.” Luke 12: 8-12 [Jesus Christ - circa AD 30]
 

Many thousands of people gather together in Jersey every year for the Battle of Flowers or for Jersey Live, the music festival.

What never takes place at either of these events took place in AD 30. Whilst the crowds of thousands were trampling one another, they were listening to Jesus speaking directly to his key followers.....

It’s a very similar situation to one which caught a senior Jersey politician a year or two ago when the microphones were left running after a BBC programme. The politician was broadcasting his private instructions.

In this case – see bold above – Jesus is giving advice to his key followers – to Christians. Let’s listen in. We might learn something....as we trample one another.

I tell you…” Is there an argument brewing between Jesus and his followers?
 
 
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‘Too many Christians live their Christian lives inside their heads; it never gets through hands and feet and lips.’ (Vance Havner, preacher and writer, 1901-1986)

I tell you, everyone who acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man also will acknowledge before the angels of God.” Let’s try and get closer to see what these Christians think about that? What shows on their faces? They are the ones looking forward to heaven and angels.

As we watch and listen it gets worse for these key followers of Jesus. “But the one who denies me before men will be denied before the angels of God.” Denied in front of God’s angels? These Christians are being given the what for! I bet they don’t believe that. I bet they don’t believe that if they deny here that they know Jesus they themselves will be denied by Jesus in the end.

What are they going to do? As we watch, there’s no movement amongst Jesus’ disciples. We going to have to wait and see if any of these folk actually name the name of Jesus tomorrow. Maybe they will – but don’t hold your breath.

Everything in me, Richard Syvret, would like to omit the next bit – the bit about the unforgivable sin, that is. This bit: And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but the one who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven. I don’t like this bit because it says “everyone” and that has to include me. I don’t mind hearing Jesus’ disciples being taught – as long as Jesus doesn’t try to teach me.

And yet, somehow I know that what Jesus says is true. First, despite all I may have said – and all I may say in future – against Jesus, it can be forgiven…That’s so reassuring. Second, if I leave it too late to obtain forgiveness – and  if I continue to fight against the Holy Spirit of Almighty God beyond my sell-by date, I’m bound to be in dire trouble……

But the show goes on - Jesus telling his disciples things and letting us listen in…. Now he’s giving them a final encouragement about speaking up for him. When they bring you before the synagogues and the rulers and the authorities, do not be anxious about how you should defend yourself or what you should say, for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say. Amazing that. These ordinary folk like us are going to be brought before the high-ups – religious, political and military.
 
 
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‘God has no dumb children.’ (J C Ryle, writer and pastor, 1816-1900)

Pity them. And yet, Jesus says they won’t be alone. In fact, they don’t even have to be anxious about defending themselves – or about what to say.  They don’t need to plan ahead. The Holy Spirit will teach them what to say.

This Jesus thinks of everything, doesn’t he? He really, really looks after his followers – even down to giving them a holy intangible life inside them to enable them to speak for him.
 
 
Richard Syvret

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