Witnessing for Jesus

Luke 12: 8-12
Rom 4:13.16-18 / Ps 105:6-9,42-43

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 gain HIS eternal reward?

“And I tell you, every one 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. And 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 like St. Peter, our Lord Jesus will still forgive us for denying Him if we just 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 if Jesus is all-forgiving and merciful even if we spoke against Him, being a “Son of Man”, humbled by earthly existence, it is different with the Holy Spirit. He is the pure spirit of God, and deserves the respect and adoration of all creatures. Even merely taking the Lord’s name in vain is already forbidden – how much more if we speak against the Supreme Being! Our lips must speak only in praise and worship of our God, or else may these portals be silenced forever! 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 indifference. 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.

Father, may our tongues be Your instruments in proclaiming Your Word to others. Let no curse or vile word pass through these lips; grant us instead the grace to hold back the words when we are angry and impatient. For it is by our words that we condemn and are condemned, just as it is by our words that we bless others and are ourselves sanctified. We ask You, loving Father, to bless all the words that we speak, lat them always be for Your glory. Amen.

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