12 The crowds at this time were packed in so tightly that thousands of people were stepping on each other. Jesus spoke to His disciples, knowing that the crowds could overhear.
Jesus: Guard yourselves from the yeast that puffs up the Pharisees—hypocrisy, false appearance, trying to look better than you really are.
2 Nothing is covered up that won’t be discovered; nothing is hidden that won’t be exposed. 3 Whatever a person says in the dark will be published in the light of day, and whatever a person whispers in private rooms will be broadcast from the housetops.
4 Listen, My friends, if people are trying to kill you, why be afraid? After you’re dead, what more can they do? 5-6 Here’s whose opinion you should be concerned about: the One who can take your life and then throw you into hell! He’s the only One you should fear! But don’t misunderstand: you don’t really need to be afraid of God, because God cares for every little sparrow. How much is a sparrow worth—don’t five of them sell for a few cents?[a] 7 Since you are so much more precious to God than a thousand flocks of sparrows, and since God knows you in every detail—down to the number of hairs on your head at this moment—you can be secure and unafraid of any person, and you have nothing to fear from God either.
8 That’s why I keep telling you not to be intimidated. If you identify unashamedly with Me before others, I, the Son of Man, will affirm you before God and all the heavenly messengers. 9 But if you deny Me before others, you will be denied before God and all the heavenly messengers. 10 People can speak a word against Me, the Son of Man, and the sin is forgivable. But they can go too far, slandering the testimony of the Holy Spirit by rejecting His message about Me, and they won’t be forgiven for that.
11 So you can anticipate that you will be put on trial before the synagogues and religious officials. Don’t worry how you’ll respond, and don’t worry what you should say. 12 The Holy Spirit will give you the words to say at the moment when you need them.
- 12:5-6 Literally, two assaria