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Luke 12:8-12

Sunday Morning Bible Study

April 24, 2016


Do people see Jesus? Is the gospel preached? Does it address the person who is: Empty, lonely, guilty, or afraid to die?  Does it speak to the broken hearted? Does it build up the church? Milk – Meat – Manna Preach for a decision Is the church loved? Regular:  2900 words    Communion: 2500 words  Video=75wpm

Luke was a doctor and a traveling companion of the apostle Paul.

He wrote this book while Paul was in prison.

In writing this book about Jesus, Luke made use of other older documents like the Gospel of Mark, as well as extensive eyewitness accounts.

Jesus’ ministry is well under way, and the people have been amazed not just at the things He’s been teaching, but the things He’s been doing.

Luke 12 started with Jesus warning His followers to not pick up the hypocritical ways of the Pharisees.

He warned that if they would learn to have a proper respect and fear of God, they would not be swayed by a fear of men.

12:8-12 The Spirit’s Work

:8 “Also I say to you, whoever confesses Me before men, him the Son of Man also will confess before the angels of God.

:8 whoever confesses Me before men

Matthew has the same teaching of Jesus.

(Matthew 10:32–33 NKJV) —32 “Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. 33 But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven.

confesshomologeo – to agree with; to declare openly, speak out freely

confesses – Aorist active subjunctive
The Matthew passage has this as a future active indicative
will confess – Future active indicative



Keep in mind, Jesus is saying this in light of warning His disciples about the hypocrisy of the Pharisees.
He is also saying this in light of being “afraid” of people rather than fearing God.
One of the results of being a hypocrite, or being afraid is that we fail to speak up about Jesus when we are given the opportunity.
We are living in a day and age when it is not very “popular” to be a Christian.
Some would consider you an uneducated idiot for believing in the Bible and following Jesus.
Just last week Saturday Night Live did a skit making fun of the movie “God’s Not Dead 2”.

A news article I read on the subject talked about how they were poking fun at the “myth” of Christian persecution in America.

The next day I read another news article about how Bill Maher was angry with the current tax system because he didn’t think that churches should get away with not paying taxes.

The world wants it both ways. On one hand they call the anti-Christian change in our culture the “myth” of persecution, and on the other hand they continue to rip against Christianity.

To be honest, our current difficulties as Christians in America is not as profound as other parts of the world where Christians are actually dying for their faith.
Yet the mockery of our faith makes more than a few of us less likely to share what we believe with others.
In the first couple of centuries of the church, the believers were a bit bolder.
The persecutions under the Roman emperors were aimed at getting Christians to stop saying that “Jesus is Lord” and to say “Caesar is Lord”.

The year was AD 155, and the persecution against Christians swept across the Roman Empire and came to the city of Smyrna. The proconsul of Symrna, swept up in this persecution, put out an order that the Bishop of Symrna, Polycarp, was to be found, arrested, and brought to the public arena for execution. They found Polycarp and brought him before thousands of spectators screaming for blood. But the proconsul had compassion on this man who was almost a hundred years old. He signaled the crowd to silence. To Polycarp he said, “Curse the Christ and live.” The crowd waited for the old man to answer. In an amazingly strong voice, he said, “Eighty and six years have I served him, and he has done me no wrong. How dare I blaspheme the name of my king and Lord!” With that Polycarp was burned at the stake.

—Leith Anderson, “Can Jesus Trust Us?” Preaching Today, Tape No. 126.


Auxensius was a great commander under the Emperor Lycinius.  Lycinius (AD 308-324) came one day into the court of his palace, where there was a great bath, and some vines growing about it, with the image of Bacchus set up among the vines.  The emperor commanded Auxensius to draw his sword and cut off a bunch of grapes, which, as soon as he had done, he ordered him to offer it at the feet of Bacchus, which was as much as to acknowledge him to be a god.  Auxenisius answered, “I am a Christian; I will not do it.”  “What!  Not do it at my command?”  said the emperor; “then you must resign your commission.”  “With all my heart, sir,” said the Christian soldier, and, in token of it, took off his belt, which was the same as giving up his commission, and departed rejoicing that he was enabled to withstand the temptation.

Jesus taught us,
(Matthew 5:14–16 NKJV) —14 “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.
A few weeks ago on the show “Britain’s Got Talent”, a gospel choir named “100 Voices of Gospel” let their light shine.

Video:  Britain’s Got Talent – 100 Voices of Gospel

Doesn’t that make you want to let your light shine?

How do I become bold when I feel so scared at times?
Jesus told His disciples after the resurrection to go to Jerusalem and wait for the coming of the Holy Spirit …
(Acts 1:8 NKJV) But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

I think one of the places to start is learning to yield my life more and more to the work of the Holy Spirit.

He will give me power to be a witness for Jesus.

:9 But he who denies Me before men will be denied before the angels of God.

:9 he who denies … will be denied …

deniesarneomai – to deny; not to accept, to reject

aorist deponent participle

The second word for “denied” adds a prefix (apo) to the word to make is stronger.

will be deniedaparneomai – to deny; to affirm that one has no acquaintance or connection with someone

future passive indicative
Adding the prefix apo in front of a word strengthens the word.
If you deny Jesus before men, then you will be strongly denied before the angels of God.


Grace for failure

If you are feeling like you’re the only one who has denied Jesus, you’re not alone.
It was at the Last Supper that Jesus gave Peter a warning:
(Luke 22:31–34 NKJV) —31 And the Lord said, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. 32 But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.” 33 But he said to Him, “Lord, I am ready to go with You, both to prison and to death.” 34 Then He said, “I tell you, Peter, the rooster shall not crow this day before you will deny three times that you know Me.”

The word Jesus warns Peter with is that “stronger” type of denial.

This sounds like a pretty serious warning.

It would happen later that night after Jesus had been arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane.

First it was a little servant girl that made big strong brave Peter cower in fear.

Two others would challenge Peter, and two more times he would deny knowing Jesus.

After the third time, the rooster crowed…

(Luke 22:61–62 NKJV) —61 And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He had said to him, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” 62 So Peter went out and wept bitterly.

Here’s what happened to Peter, the man who denied Jesus…

Video: Skit Guys - Grace

Perhaps you feel like you’ve denied Christ or let Him down.

There is forgiveness and grace in Jesus.

:10 “And anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but to him who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven.

speaksereo – to utter, speak, say

Future active indicative

forgivenaphiemi – to send away; to let go, let alone, let be; to let go, give up a debt, forgive, to remit; to give up, keep no longer

Future passive indicative both times

blasphemesblasphemeo – to speak reproachfully, rail at, revile, calumniate, blaspheme; to be evil spoken of, reviled, railed at

Aorist active participle

againsteis – into, unto, to, towards, for, among

Both Mark and Matthew record these words in a slightly different context, when Jesus was being accused of doing miracles through the power of Satan.

(Mark 3:22–30 NKJV) —22 And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem said, “He has Beelzebub,” and, “By the ruler of the demons He casts out demons.” 23 So He called them to Himself and said to them in parables: “How can Satan cast out Satan? 24 If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. 25 And if a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand. 26 And if Satan has risen up against himself, and is divided, he cannot stand, but has an end. 27 No one can enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man. And then he will plunder his house. 28 “Assuredly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they may utter; 29 but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is subject to eternal condemnation”—30 because they said, “He has an unclean spirit.”

(Matthew 12:24–32 NKJV) —24 Now when the Pharisees heard it they said, “This fellow does not cast out demons except by Beelzebub, the ruler of the demons.” 25 But Jesus knew their thoughts, and said to them: “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand. 26 If Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand? 27 And if I cast out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they shall be your judges. 28 But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you. 29 Or how can one enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man? And then he will plunder his house. 30 He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad. 31 “Therefore I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men. 32 Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come.

In Luke, this charge by the Pharisees about Jesus using Satan’s power has already been made in the middle of the last chapter.

(Luke 11:15–20 NKJV) —15 But some of them said, “He casts out demons by Beelzebub, the ruler of the demons.” 16 Others, testing Him, sought from Him a sign from heaven. 17 But He, knowing their thoughts, said to them: “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and a house divided against a house falls. 18 If Satan also is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand? Because you say I cast out demons by Beelzebub. 19 And if I cast out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they will be your judges. 20 But if I cast out demons with the finger of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you.

:10 blasphemes against the Holy Spirit … will not be forgiven



Frankly I think some of the pranks we play on each other are “unforgiveable”.
Video:  Ladder Prank
Seriously, there are a lot of ideas out there as to what the true “unforgiveable” sin is.
Some say it’s homosexuality.
Others think it’s divorce.
Others wonder if it’s some kind of addiction, whether drugs, alcohol, or sexual addiction.
It’s none of these.
Some things we think are unforgiveable are actually forgivable.
Jesus said you could even speak horrible things against Jesus Christ, and still one day be forgiven.

This is what happened to a man named Saul of Tarsus who hated Christians and worked to have them put to death.

(Acts 9:3–5 NKJV) —3 As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. 4 Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” 5 And he said, “Who are You, Lord?” Then the Lord said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads.”

Saul would go into the city of Damascus, be baptized by a believer named Ananias, and go on to preach the gospel around the world as the Apostle Paul.

Paul would write towards the end of his life:

(1 Timothy 1:13 NKJV) although I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man; but I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.

As bad as Paul was, he found mercy.

Perhaps you’ve wondered if you’ve committed the “unforgiveable” sin, wondering if God could ever forgive you.
Though the things we might consider to be the “top ten sins” can all be forgiven, something cannot be forgiven.

Jesus called it the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit.

What’s the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit?
It’s rejecting the work of the Holy Spirit and calling it “rubbish”.
Jesus talked about the important things that the Holy Spirit does:

Conviction of sin

(John 16:8 NLT) And when he comes, he will convict the world of its sin, and of God’s righteousness, and of the coming judgment.

Pointing to Jesus

(John 15:26 NKJV) “But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me.

You see my friend we are all sinners.

Our sin has separated us from God.

Yet God loved us so much that He sent Jesus to die for our sins and pay the penalty of our sins for us.

When you finally admit you are a sinner and you ask for God’s help, God will respond to your cry and forgive you.

The issue isn’t that your sin is too great, the only thing keeping you back from forgiveness is your own reluctance to ask God for His grace.

Convincing you of these things is the chief work of the Holy Spirit.

You blaspheme the Holy Spirit by rejecting what He’s telling you to do about Jesus.  Until you humble yourself and ask God for mercy, you won’t be forgiven.

:11 “Now when they bring you to the synagogues and magistrates and authorities, do not worry about how or what you should answer, or what you should say.

bring you toprosphero – to bring to, lead to; one to a person who can heal him or is ready to show him some kindness, one to a person who is to judge him

synagoguessunagoge – a bringing together, gathering (as of fruits), a contracting; in the NT, an assembling together of men, an assembly of men; a synagogue

magistratesarche – beginning, origin; the person or thing that commences, the first person or thing in a series, the leader; the first place, principality, rule, magistracy

authoritiesexousia – power of choice, liberty of doing as one pleases; the power of authority (influence) and of right (privilege); the power of rule or government (the power of him whose will and commands must be submitted to by others and obeyed); one who possesses authority

do not worrymerimnao – to be anxious; to be troubled with cares; to care for, look out for (a thing)

:11 do not worry about how or what you should answer


Having an answer

answerapologeomai – to defend one’s self; to give a full account of
We get our word “apologetics” from this word.
Apologetics is the carefully researched answer to the question, “Why do you believe?”
Is Jesus saying that we shouldn’t be concerned about apologetics?

No.  Jesus isn’t saying you shouldn’t have an answer, He’s saying not to “worry” about it when you’re persecuted.

Paul told Timothy that he needed to work hard at knowing what he believed.

(2 Timothy 2:15 NKJV) Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

Peter wrote,

(1 Peter 3:15 ESV) but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,

The word for “defense” is apologia.

Notice that God is not just concerned about what you say, but how you say it (with gentleness and respect)

(Colossians 4:6 NKJV) Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.

God is looking for kind, gracious words

Jesus’ concern is that we not “worry” about what we’re going to say.
He wants us to learn to trust the work of the Holy Spirit to guide us and lead us.
Every once in a while I get a little overwhelmed of my job.

I think it is a great responsibility to be your pastor.

I want to not only teach you correctly, but I want to be sure to be setting the best example I can for you with my life.

The other day I felt like God was reminding me that it’s …

(Zechariah 4:6b NKJV) …‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ Says the Lord of hosts.

I need to continually seek the filling and the leading of the Holy Spirit.

:12 For the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.”

will teachdidasko – to teach

Future active indicative

what you oughtdei – it is necessary, there is need of, it behooves, is right and proper

:12 the Holy Spirit will teach you

This isn’t talking about pastors not needing to study and prepare before they teach.

I’ve heard more than one pastor say that it was unspiritual to prepare a message because the Holy Spirit is supposed to teach you what to say.
That would only apply to a pastor if his church is about to put him to death because Jesus is talking about what to do when you’re persecuted.


Holy Spirit taught

You don’t need to anxious about how you will reply when you are persecuted.
The Holy Spirit wants to work in many ways in our lives.
He wants to teach us.
(1 John 2:27 NKJV) But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him.
He also wants to remind us.
For those of us who are getting a little older, the problem isn’t learning something, but remembering it.

This elderly couple was having trouble with forgetfulness, so they went to their doctor. He said, “Why don’t you try writing down everything so you’ll remember.” So one evening, Grandma asked Grandpa if he’d like some ice cream. “Sure, that’s sounds good, but you’d better write it down.” “No,” Grandma said. “I can remember that. Would you like chocolate syrup on top?” “Yes, but you’d better write it down.” “I can remember that. How about some nuts on top, too?” “OK, but I think you’d really better write it all down.” “No, I can remember.” So she went into the kitchen and she was in there a long time. Finally, Grandpa went in and asked her what was taking so long. “I made you bacon and eggs,” Grandma said. “I told you to write it down!” Grandpa said. “I wanted toast, too!”

The Holy Spirit wants to help us remember what Jesus has taught us.

(John 14:26 NKJV) But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.

I’ve found this to be true many, many times.  I’ll be talking to someone and the Holy Spirit brings one Scripture after another to mind.

Jesus said we can count on the Holy Spirit doing these things especially when we are being persecuted.
You see this at work in the lives of the apostles.
Peter and John were arrested for healing a lame man and preaching about Jesus.  They were put on trial before the Sanhedrin, the religious leaders of Israel.
(Acts 4:7–13 NKJV) —7 And when they had set them in the midst, they asked, “By what power or by what name have you done this?” 8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders of Israel: 9 If we this day are judged for a good deed done to a helpless man, by what means he has been made well, 10 let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole. 11 This is the ‘stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone.’ 12 Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” 13 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus.
Peter had something to say because he was filled with the Spirit.

But he also had something to say because he had “been with Jesus”.

I think that if we work at keeping our daily time with Jesus, and we learn to sit at the feet of Jesus and let Him teach us out of His Word, we’ll be in a great place for the Spirit to work through us.

Then, when we find ourselves in a place to talk about Jesus, stop and catch your breath, pray, ask the Holy Spirit to fill you.  Then open your mouth and carefully begin to speak.