Summary: Jesus teaches us what is involved in acknowledging Christ before men.
During the final few months of Jesus’ life he journeyed from Galilee to Jerusalem, where he would be crucified. While traveling to Jerusalem Jesus gave his followers some very important teaching regarding discipleship. His instruction covered a number of different topics regarding Christian discipleship.
8 “And I tell you, everyone who acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man also will acknowledge before the angels of God, 9 but the one who denies me before men will be denied before the angels of God. 10 And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but the one who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven. 11 And when they bring you before the synagogues and the rulers and the authorities, do not be anxious about how you should defend yourself or what you should say, 12 for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.” (Luke 12:8-12 (quickview) )
Schutt Sports, a major supplier of football helmets for the National Football League, issues the following warning on their website’s homepage:
WARNING. . . NO HELMET SYSTEM CAN PREVENT CONCUSSIONS OR ELIMINATE THE RISK OF SERIOUS HEAD OR NECK INJURIES WHILE PLAYING FOOTBALL.
The warning label continues with some information about the symptoms for concussions, then repeats the previous warning, and concludes with these words:
TO AVOID THESE RISKS [OF PLAYING FOOTBALL], DO NOT ENGAGE IN THE SPORT OF FOOTBALL.
A visitor to the website cannot access any further content until checking a box next to the words: “Please indicate that you have read and understand the message.”
At least this company is honest about the risks of playing football.
Similarly, the Bible is honest about the risks of following Jesus. In a way, the Bible says, “To avoid the risks of discipleship, do not engage in following Jesus.”
Discipleship entails risk. Following Jesus means opening yourself to opposition, derision, resentment, harm, injury, and even death.
During Jesus’ ministry he experienced growing opposition and persecution. He noticed that his disciples were becoming increasingly fearful as they saw what was happening to him. So, he urged his disciples not to fear people, but instead to fear and reverence God, knowing that God cared deeply for each one of them (Like 12:4-7).
Then he urged his disciples to acknowledge him before men.
Let’s use the following outline:
1. The Priority of Acknowledging Christ Before Men (12:8-9)
2. The Principles in Acknowledging Christ Before Men (12:10)
3. The Persecution for Acknowledging Christ Before Men (12:11-12)
I. The Priority of Acknowledging Christ Before Men (12:8-9)
First, let’s look at the priority of acknowledging Christ before men.
The importance of acknowledging Christ before men has both a positive and a negative aspect.