"And I say to you, everyone who confesses Me before men, the Son of Man will confess him also before the angels of God;
but he who denies Me before men will be denied before the angels of God.
"And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him. (Luke 12:8-10)
The concept of acknowledging Jesus or the Son of Man before men is simple enough. The word [homologeo] also contains the idea of "confess, acknowledge, admit, speak up in support of." It's a verbal action. A public declaration of your faith.
I think I have told you the story before of a person I met in my early years of being a Christian who told the true story of someone they knew who was shocked to learn he did indeed need to give a verbal witness to his faith in Christ. (I have done a quick search through past Gemz to find it but can't at moment; so I will retell it.) There is an idea that is broadcast among Christians that we don't have to tell people we are Christians, followers of Jesus, believing that Jesus is who He says He is and placing our on going trust in Him. We can just live the life and that is sufficient. We don't need to witness. The story goes that a Christian in the work place was seeking to "witness" to his colleagues but was somewhat afraid of confessing the fact that he followed Christ, when in the office environment it was unpopular to do so. So he "bought into" the notion of living the life, demonstrating his allegiance to Christ, by his actions rather than his words. He had been doing this for some years. Finally there was a huge evangelistic meeting in the town which he attended. On the Monday in the office, a colleague told him how on the weekend he had "become a Christian".
To which he then replied, "Praise the Lord, that is great news."
The colleague look at him intently and then said. "Do you mean to say that you are a Christian too?"
"Yes." he replied.
To which the colleague said something that shocked him. "Then you are what has kept me from Christ all these years. I have watched you and been impressed with your life style and standards but you have never said anything about the reason, that you follow Christ. So I figured when others witnessed to me, that if you could do it without Christ, then so could I."
People we need to give credit where credit is due. Yes live your life for Him, but give Him the credit for what He has done in you. Be prepared to give a public declaration of your faith. Do you see this fits in with the preceding verses about not being afraid of those who can kill the body; reverence Him who can caste the soul into hell.
The idea of homologeo then is:
To confess that you know Him,
To confess that you are a follower of His
To confess you are a Christian
To confess that He is your Lord and Saviour
To confess you belong to Jesus.
It is interesting that Jesus uses the term Son of Man here when He refers to Himself. There are two significances to its use here. The first relates to the fact of Christ's sacrifice as the offering for sin. It is His action as a sinless offering and as a man that is in focus here. But then the term also contains the notion of Man as God intended Him to be. Man functioning as God designed him to function. The only way that can happen is in relationship with the God who made him. The only way that can happen again is by the coming of the Son of Man offering the sinless sacrifice which will restore relationship with a Holy God again for all mankind. All the pieces are highly significant.
The term [arneomai] means to "deny, repudiate, disown, renounce, reject, disavow connection with"
In each of these words, "confessing" and "denying", there is a strong verbal component. You are called on to give an account of your faith. (2 Tim 4:2), in season and out of season. When its convenient and easy and when its inconvenient and costs you something. But either way you called to speak up for Christ. Note the eschatological focus of when He will speak up for you. That's a big word (bigger than wheelbarrow) meaning "at the end of time". He will come forth to speak on your behalf at the Judgement. Coming forward to say, "Ian is one of mine. I am his advocate. He has been an advocate of mine since 1973." or to say, "No, I don't know him, he was never mine. He only pretended to be mine." Do you notice how this segment clicks into what went before it?
Which now brings us to verse 10, This is a verse which is difficult to determine its meaning and connectedness. The first two verses are not so hard. It is this third verse of the trilogy that is hard to exegete (to draw out the meaning of) rather than eisegete (read into it another meaning that was not intended in the original setting). I am going to leave it at this point. This Gem is already long enough. I will stop at this point and give you 24 hours to see if you can sort out the meaning of "blaspheming against the Holy Spirit" for yourself.
Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words. Francis of Assisi
If we are not hated by someone, we don't know enough people, or we don't speak enough truth. John Piper
There is a price to pay for speaking the truth. There is a bigger price for living a lie.
If you can catch a glimpse of how much confidence God has in you, you will never again shrink back into an inferiority complex.