Giving Witness to Jesus

Luke 12: 8-12
Eph 1:15-23 / Psa 8

I tell you, every one who acknowledges me before men, the Son of man also will acknowledge before the angels of God.
(Luke 12:8)

If we are not bold and willing
To declare ourselves for the Lord,
How can we make ourselves fitting
To receive eternal reward?

“I tell you, everyone who acknowledges me before men, the Son of man also will acknowledge before the angels of God; but he who denies me before men will be denied before the angels of God. Every one who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven; but he 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 how or what you are to answer or what you are to say; for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.” (Luke 12:8-12)

Reflection

Clearly, there are three things that our Lord teaches us in this Gospel passage of Luke. The first is the most fundamental requirement in every Christian’s life: to give witness to the reality of Jesus Christ in our life. God wants us to strengthen our faith not only by acknowledging the divinity of the Triune God, but by proclaiming His love and saving power to others on all occasions, and in every opportunity. Failing to “confess Christ before men” as our God and Redeemer is equivalent to denying Him, just as St. Peter denied Him in the courtyard of the high priest. But just like St. Peter, our Lord Jesus will still forgive us for denying Him if we but acknowledge Him again as our Lord and Savior, and resolve to overcome this weakness in the face of ridicule, enmity, or persecution.

Which leads us to the second message of this Gospel: that even if our God is all-forgiving and merciful, He will not impose His will on our freedom of choice. That is why there is a sin that cannot be forgiven, because the sinner chooses to reject or ignore God’s offer of repentance. This is what Jesus meant when He said, “He who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.” Blasphemy is like spitting on the face of one offering peace and forgiveness. It is a deliberate rejection of what is good and truthful because of pride, arrogance, selfishness or greed. The sinner has become totally encrusted in his own delusion of power and self-sufficiency that the Holy Spirit can no longer communicate with his soul.

Finally, our Lord teaches us that in the event we are brought before such men of power and arrogance, we must not be intimidated and subdued into silence. Even if they wield much power and influence, they are after all, mere mortals, while we have the backing of the Holy Spirit, and empowered by the Word of God. As our Lord has promised, the Holy Spirit will give us the eloquence to proclaim the Good News, ‘shame the arrogant’ and claim the repentant.

Lord Jesus, thank You for the beautiful lessons that You bring to us in today’s Gospel of St. Luke. May they strengthen our resolve to speak boldly in the marketplaces, so that other businessmen and professionals will also exercise true Christian values in the practice of their businesses and professions. Amen.

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