“But when they arrest you, don’t worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.” (Matthew 10:19-20)
The early followers of Jesus could expect to be mistreated as they sought to witness to Jesus. They could expect to be arrested by public and religious officials because of their witness. They could expect to be imprisoned for their beliefs. In these times of fear Jesus tells them that they will be okay. They will remain faithful and have the words to speak in defense of their faith. The Holy Spirit will give them the words to say and the life to live even in difficult circumstances and these would be used to draw others to put their trust in Jesus.
Have we been imprisoned for our witness to Jesus? Most likely not. It is more likely some of us have actually visited those in prison, sharing about Jesus. There may be found there Christians but they are not there because of their faith but because they committed a crime against society and are living out their punishment. Yet, let us not forget that there are those around the world who live in countries that are hostile to Christians and do persecute and even kill them. In these cases, the witness of these martyrs shames us who may cringe at sharing about Jesus in the safety of our land. Wherever we witness it is essential for the Holy Spirit to be present to give us boldness and make our words His Words. Then the Lord’s Church will grow as it always does, opposition or not.
Heavenly Father, You know our circumstances and witness opportunities. Order them according to Your will and make us bold to be obedient. Come what may let us never waiver from sharing our Lord and Savior, Jesus. In His name. Amen.
Pastor Robert Forsberg is retired from Light of Christ Lutheran Church in Fairborn.