If You Are Ashamed Of Me

Did Jesus Really Say That?

Dear Rev. Jamison,

I know you research the sayings of Jesus to determine if he actually said them. I am wondering about this one: "If you are ashamed of me, I am ashamed of you before my Father." Did Jesus really say that?

You are referring to Luke 9:26, which reads: For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words, of him will the Son of man be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels." The Gospel of Luke takes up this theme again in chapter 12, verses 8 and 9, where the author has Jesus say: "And I tell you every one who acknowledges me before men, the Son of man also will acknowledge before the angels of God; but he who denies me before men will be denied before the angels of God."

I will let nearly 300 unbiased scholars answer your question. Here is what they say about the 9:26 quote, on page 313 of the book THE FIVE GOSPELS, by Robert W. Funk, Roy W. Hoover, and The Jesus Seminar: "This saying appears to have been formulated after Jesus' death, when the disciples were being forced to acknowledge or deny him. Since the remark looks back on Jesus' death, and is apocalyptically oriented to the return of the son of Adam [man], it is the fabrication of the Christian community."

Regarding the 12:8-9 quote, the scholars say this on page 337: "In this saying, those who acknowledge Jesus 'in public' will be acknowledged by the son of Adam [man] before God's messengers [angels]. This is a legalistic exchange that presupposes a time when denial under duress was taking place. The 'Son of Adam' [man] is here to be understood as the heavenly figure, to be identified with Jesus, which suggests an apocalyptic context of judgment. These warnings are suitable for a time when the disciples are being forced to acknowledge their faith in public. All these features make it very unlikely that Jesus uttered these words."

Return to Ask Your Unity Minister for more questions.

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