In Luke 21, Jesus is talking with his disciples about the persecution they will be facing as his followers. He tells them they will be dragged into prisons and put on trial. “But this will be your opportunity to tell them about me.” These trials and persecutions were going to give them an audience with a lot of people and Jesus told them that this would be their opportunity to share the Good News. He promises them that he would give them the right words to say.
History tells us that the disciples had a lot of opportunities to witness to the truth of Jesus Christ:
Matthew was nailed to the ground with spikes and beheaded.
Jude was beaten to death with sticks and clubs.
Simon was tortured and crucified.
Philip was scourged and crucified.
John, son of Zebedee, was tortured and exiled.
James, brother of John, was beheaded.
James was pushed from the top of a building; then his broken body was beaten to death.
Bartholomew was beaten and skinned alive before being beheaded.
Thomas was speared with a javelin.
And Peter was crucified – upside down.
The fact that we know all about the Good News today is proof that they took advantage of these opportunities. They did not keep silent even when it meant torture and death. They were ordinary men but it was clear that they had been with Jesus, and that he had changed their lives forever. They couldn’t stop talking about him.
Thank you, dear Father, for choosing men who were fearless enough to be your witnesses so that we can know the Truth today.