What To Say
October 7, 2020
But beware of men, for they will hand you over to the courts and scourge you in their synagogues; and you will even be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles. But when they hand you over, do not worry about how or what you are to say; for it will be given you in that hour what you are to say. For it is not you who speak, but it is the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you (Matthew 10:17-20).
Facing persecution has been, and will always be inescapable for the Christian and the Christian church. This is not a deterrent for witnessing and ministry, but a motivation to continue to press the Gospel to others.
To ‘beware’ is to ‘hold your mind away from’; to be cautious about men. Jesus didn’t trust Himself to men because He knew what was in their heart (John 2:24-25). That’s wisdom for us. If people are typically wolves, we need to be aware of what they are capable of.
All of the apostles were brought before magistrates, most of them imprisoned and executed. Since the apostolic era, Christians have been arrested, tortured, and killed for being followers of Jesus - many at the hand of those claiming to be Christian, others at the hand of other religions.
How are we to respond to persecutors? But when they hand you over, do not worry about how or what you are to say; for it will be given you in that hour what you are to say. For it is not you who speak, but it is the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you.
This was an extraordinary promise from Jesus Christ, and vital for the apostles who would, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, preach, teach, and witness the Gospel to the known world and, at the same time, complete the canon of Scripture.
The same promise is extended to us today. We are to preach, teach, and witness the Gospel through the inspiration and under the authority of the Holy Spirit. Our witness is empowered by His presence and influence. He gives us the words to speak at the time they are to be spoken.
“Father, without Your Holy Spirit speaking in and through us, the Gospel would fail to achieve the purpose for which it has been given. Your word speaks life. Your Spirit empowers Your word. Keep me sensitive to the leadership of Your spirit in my mind and heart that I will speak as You inspire me to speak. To the glory and honor of Jesus Christ I ask, Amen.”