“When you are arrested and taken to court, do not worry beforehand about what you are going to say; when the time comes, say whatever is then given to you. For the words you speak will not be yours; they will come from the Holy Spirit”.
Mk 13:11 GNB
Most people who are not accustomed to speaking in public are scared stiff that if they are ever pounced on to say something they will be utterly tongue-tied and will say nothing. The disciples of Jesus were “ordinary people”. They were not accustomed to speaking, especially in front of a court. To be told by Jesus that they would be dragged before magistrates and other rulers would have filled them with horror. Jesus knew that and he also knew that being forced into court would be their lot – and maybe their lives would depend on what they said and how they said it. So this promise – that the Holy Spirit would come to their aid in those moments – would have been very reassuring. And was not the Holy Spirit called “the Advocate” anyway?
They were hauled before courts. And they did have to give account of themselves. They had to speak there of Jesus, his death and his resurrection. And they were given words to say. And they acquitted themselves with courage, clarity and conviction. They were possessed by the Holy Spirit. They didn’t, as some modern-day disciples claim, have the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit had them. There is a real difference. And the Holy Spirit spoke through them not only in the courts – but out in the streets, market-places, and fields where people gathered to hear them. And, as they did with Jesus, the common people heard them gladly.
Lord, give words to your messengers today.