Commands of Christ: 43

Do not worry about your defense when you are arrested for My sake.

“When they hand you over, do not worry about how you are to speak or what you are to say. You will be given at that moment what you are to say.  For it will not be you who speak but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.”  Matthew 10:19-20

“When they take you before synagogues and before rulers and authorities, do not worry about how or what your defense will be or about what you are to say.  For the Holy Spirit will teach you at that moment what you should say.”  Luke 12:11-12

“They will seize and persecute you, they will hand you over to the synagogues and to prisons, and they will have you led before kings and governors because of my name.  It will lead to your giving testimony.  Remember, you are not to prepare your defense beforehand, for I myself shall give you a wisdom in speaking that all your adversaries will be powerless to resist or refute.”  Luke 21:12b-15

It is interesting that Jesus assumed His followers would be arrested and persecuted by authorities.    It is also interesting that He specifically instructed them not to plan or prepare ahead of time for making a defense.  He knew that His followers would have the Holy Spirit within them.  He would speak to them moment by moment instructing them.  This must have seemed strange to the ears of the disciples, since the Holy Spirit had not yet been given.  This is a great comfort to us, however.  Because of Jesus’ promise that He would give us irrefutable wisdom, we do not have to concern ourselves with the need to be the smartest person in the room.  We simply need to listen and obey.

There are few testimonies more moving than those of disciples who have had opportunities like Jesus described.  In 2 Timothy 3:12 Paul tells us that everyone who desires to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.  While persecution takes different forms in different societies, this continues to hold true today.  May each of us be living lives filled by the Holy Spirit and sensitive to His leadership so we will be ready every time such opportunities arise for us.