Luke 12:8-12 NRSVue
8“And I tell you, everyone who acknowledges me before others, the Son of Man also will acknowledge before the angels of God, 9but whoever denies me before others will be denied before the angels of God. 10And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven. 11When they bring you before the synagogues, the rulers, and the authorities, do not worry about how or what you will answer or what you are to say, 12for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that very hour what you ought to say.”
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Some thoughts on this scripture
Jesus' words to his disciples are spoken in anticipation of conflict and persecution ahead.
When I read them, is my spontaneous response one of being encouraged and challenged or am I frightened and unnerved? Why do I react in this way?
What words of comfort are here for me?
Saint Luke is writing for Christians who encounter conflict and persecution as followers of Jesus. The words of Jesus at once challenge and console. They challenge us to remain loyal to him, to acknowledge him as Lord, no matter what suffering or derision that entails for us. They reassure us that we do not need to be clever or quick-witted in face of persecutors. We can trust the Holy Spirit to give us either the right words or (as in Jesus' Passion) the eloquent silence that will bear witness to Him.
Jesus is aware that some are downing him and mocking him, speaking evil of him. Others defend him and are on his side. Prayer is the time in the day of allowing ourselves be open to the Holy Spirit, the presence of God who guides and protects; the giver of wisdom. Times of prayer can help us to make good and right decisions.