You must be on your guard. You will be handed over to the local councils and flogged in the synagogues. On account of me you will stand before governors and kings as witnesses to them. And the gospel must first be preached to all nations. Whenever you are arrested and brought to trial, do not worry beforehand about what to say. Just say whatever is given you at the time. For it is not you speaking, but the Holy Spirit. NIV
Wow. That’s a heavy passage to start a Saturday morning. This project is proving so interesting to me on so many levels. I’ve read the Bible through, but, I did it in a year, which doesn’t afford a lot of time to ponder individual verses. Searching it as I am for what it says about worry, I’m finding a lot of things that I didn’t realize were there.
Of course, I knew that the disciples had a pretty hard time after Christ was crucified. Many of them were brutally murdered. Here, I think, Jesus is preparing them for what they will face. And, they were willing to face it! I am so thankful that they did. If they had not carried the word of God forward, I hesitate to think what my life would be like today.
He tells them not to worry “beforehand.” In the Message, this passage is translated, “And watch out! They’re going to drag you into court. And then it will go from bad to worse, dog-eat-dog, everyone at your throat because you carry my name. You’re placed there as sentinels to truth. This message has to be preached all across the world.” The Message
Sentinels to truth. I love that image.
You carry my name … I love that on many levels, too. They are marked as sons of Jesus, and they also are charged with carrying his message out to the world.
It (The Message) goes on to say, “When they bring you, betrayed, into court, don’t worry about what you’ll say. When the time comes, say what’s on your heart — the Holy Spirit will make his witness in and through you.”
Don’t worry beforehand. Things are going to be bad, but, the Holy Spirit will go with you every step of the way. These are timeless messages. How blessed we are that our Holy Father has prepared us with them.