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"'Stand up for me among the people you meet and the Son of Man will stand up for you before all God's angels. But if you pretend you don't know me, do you think I'll defend you before God's angels?'" Luke 12:8,9 (The Message).
What was Jesus getting at? Does He need people to defend Him? Is He like other religious groups that go hysterical and murder people who so-called 'insult' their religious leaders? Does He really want us to behave like that? Will it make any difference to His reputation if we don't vehemently defend Him every time someone bad-mouths Him?
This is not so much about Jesus as it is about us. When we recognised and acknowledged that Jesus is Lord and that God raised Him from the dead, several things happened supernaturally.
Our dead spirits were made alive by God's Spirit and He reconciled and reconnected us to God, our Father. We were rescued from the dominion of darkness and made citizens of God's kingdom of light. We became the slaves of a new Master, Jesus and set free from the law of sin and death. We were given a new nature and have a new destiny - life in the eternal realm of God's presence.
All of these blessings are guaranteed and have already become ours because Jesus paid the debt of our sin on the cross to restore us to God and to His eternal purpose for us. God raised Him from the dead, gave Him a name above every other name and seated Him in the place of supreme authority above all powers that have made a bid for His place and lost.
So why then, did Jesus insist that we must acknowledge Him before men? It will definitely not make a difference to Him or His position but it will make a difference to us. To acknowledge Jesus, even if it costs us to do so, is to acknowledge everything He has done for us and to take our stand on His promises and in our position in His eternal kingdom.
Once again it is to take the long look at life. If our sights are only upon our safety and comfort in this life, to choose not to acknowledge Jesus will be the easiest way out to save our skin. But if we are secure in our awareness of who we really are, sons and daughters of the living God, we will be more troubled about dissociating ourselves from Jesus than about what people might say about him or us.
Jesus is not giving a warning that He will treat us like we treat Him. It is much more than that. The choice to acknowledge who He is lies with us. If we choose to confess Him before men in our hostile earthly environment, He will affirm our sonship in the environment of heaven. To deny Him is to cut ourselves off from everything He has done for us. He has no other alternative but to confirm our choice for or against Him.
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