A Word in our Mouth

“I will give you a mouth and wisdom which all your adversaries will not be able to contradict or resist” Luke 21:15

Jesus is answering the disciples’ question regarding the timing and sign of His Second Coming. As He describes the nature of the last days before His return He knows those who will be waiting for Him will need encouragement in the face of great opposition and extreme persecution.

The context tells us that Jesus is speaking of a situation that will eventuate in the future of Israel and the world in the time of the great tribulation and that He is speaking primarily to believing Jews. In verse twelve we read Jesus’ words, they will lay their hands on you and persecute you delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons.” Unbelieving Jews will also persecute believing Jews just as they did to Jesus and also as Saul did to the Jews before Saul met Jesus on the road to Damascus.

This future period of time appears to be something to fear and something that will harm the cause of Christ yet in the next verse we read that it is quite the opposite; But it will turn out for you as an occasion for testimony.” Just as Paul was imprisoned and found it an opportunity to witness, believing Jews in the tribulation will also find it an opportunity to witness. The other apostles and many believers since Pentecost have discovered the same reality and opportunity.

While no one would seek to be in this position it has, is and will occur to true followers of Jesus. Just as they persecuted Jesus they will persecute His followers. How will they turn such a terrible situation into an opportunity to be faithful witnesses of Jesus Christ?

Jesus says that believing Jews won’t have to worry about what they say. He will give them the right words at the right time. They will be words that come out of the One who is called Wisdom in Proverbs. Just as those who opposed and persecuted Jesus had no answer to His words those who oppose His people will have no answer to the words He will give His disciples during the tribulation.

Does this have any application to Christians today? Most assuredly! The principle stands even if the specific context does not. Just as the Lord put words in the mouths of the prophets (cf. Jeremiah 1:9; Isaiah 51:16) He does similar for Christians. Christians throughout the centuries and have found Him faithful in this regard. In the book of Acts we read some of the early occasions in the lives of Peter and Paul.

This does not need to be an unusual occurrence in the life of Christians and we should not be surprised when it happens. The Holy Spirit is the One given to help and who, leads and teaches us. He even helps us in prayer when we do not know how to pray (Romans 8:26). There is a need for caution however as we read that in just one conversation Peter spoke both from the Father and from Satan (Matthew 16:16-18; 22-23).

There is only one condition that Jesus gives and it is recorded at the end of verse twelve, “… for My name’s sake.” The qualification is that we are about His mission and not our own; that we are serving His interests and not our own; that we are walking in close intimacy with Him subject to His will to glorify His name and not our own.

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