FOREWARNED IS FOREARMED
“You will declare the truth, too, because you have been with me from the beginning.” Jesus continued, “I have said these things to you so that you won’t lose your faith. You will be thrown out of synagogues. Certainly, the time is coming when people who murder you will think that they are serving God. They will do these things to you because they haven’t known the Father or me. But I’ve told you this so that when it happens you’ll remember what I’ve told you.”
Let’s say that you are bebopping along — dota dota dota do — and suddenly a big hairy beast comes running toward you — what do you do? I don’t know about you, but after peddling down my leg, I’d run.
Now, let’s say that you had been warned that big hairy beasts were in the area. You were told that, if you encounter a big hairy beast, absolutely DO NOT RUN AWAY. If you run from them, that triggers a predictor response in them and they will chase you and eat you all up. Further you were told that you should RUN AT THEM ENDS GROWL. That triggers the prey response in them and the will ruin and hide from you.
Wouldn’t you be better off knowing in advance about big hairy beasts? In either case, you are going to encounter big hairy beasts. However, forewarned is forearmed.
In this passage of Scripture Jesus tells his disciples their duty, declare the truth. Now the hoped for outcome is that, having heard the truth, people will be set free from their sins. (John 8:32 “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”) However, not all who hear will believe. (John 8:47 “The person who belongs to God understands what God says. You don’t understand because you don’t belong to God.”) And Jesus warns his disciples that those non believers will throw them out of places out worship and even try to kill them, and in some cases succeed in murdering them. But through it all you won’t lose your faith because you were forewarned.
Thank you, Lord Jesus, for calling us to be your disciples and for trusting us to tell your truth in a world that badly needs the truth though they may refuse to hear it. Protect us or give us the strength to endure, so that we not lose our faith. Amen.