A crowd of many thousands gathered around Jesus. He issued a number of important warnings and encouragements:
Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. What you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight, and what you have whispered in the ear in the inner rooms will be proclaimed from the roofs.
I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after your body has been killed, has authority to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him. Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
I tell you, whoever publicly acknowledges me before others, the Son of Man will also acknowledge before the angels of God. But whoever disowns me before others will be disowned before the angels of God. And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.
When you are brought before synagogues, rulers and authorities, do not worry about how you will defend yourselves or what you will say, for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say.
Let’s look at our 2 BIG Questions:
1. Who exactly is Jesus?
He’s the Son of Man – the long-awaited Savior prophesied hundreds of years earlier. (See Daniel 7:13.)
2. What exactly does he want us to do?
- Be on your guard against religious hypocrisy.
- Never fear those who can only kill the body but after that can do more.
- Fear only God who has the authority to throw you into hell.
- Acknowledge Jesus and he’ll acknowledge you before the angels of God.
- Disown Jesus and you’ll be disowned before the angels of God.
- Blaspheming the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven.
- Never worry about defending yourself before the authorities — the Spirit will teach you what to say.