At first sight, this is not a very encouraging verse. But these are words of Jesus to His first disciples, entreating them not to compromise in the face of impending persecution.
I have been reflecting on this. What cost would I be willing to pay for holding to the teaching of Jesus, as persecution of Bible-believing Christians is clearly on the increase world-wide today? Loss of reputation? Loss of employment? Loss of friends? Loss of liberty? Loss of life itself?
In some countries, in recent years, the cost has indeed been death for many believers. A recent survey concluded that, at the present time, Christians are the most persecuted faith group worldwide. Even now in Britain there has been loss of employment for a significant number of Christians who have had the courage to express belief in the moral plumb-line of the Bible. Reflecting on this is not unwarranted scaremongering.
Of course, Jesus warned His followers that holding to His teaching would not necessarily meet with the world’s approbation, not least among religious and secular authorities. The spirit of this age is viciously opposed to the truth of the Bible, especially when expressed in the public arena.
So, what can we do? The simple answer is to firmly believe in the words of Jesus, be ready when necessary to speak biblical truth with grace, and to fully entrust ourselves to His promised salvation, in the midst of every hostile response from the Evil One.
Prayer: Father God, I’m so grateful that, although Jesus didn’t promise a comfortable journey for His followers, He did promise to be with us, exercising His supreme authority and power, every step of the way. Amen.
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