"But be careful, because they will deliver you up to the councils and in the synagogues you will be beaten, and you will be brought before governors and kings on my account to testify to them. And the Teachings must first be preached before all peoples. But they will capture you and arrest you. Don’t think about what you will say beforehand – nor should you plan: But whatever will be given to you at that time you will speak – because it is not you that speaks, but the Holy Spirit." (Mark 13:9-11)
Is Jesus telling them to pass on his teachings?
Jesus is instructing his followers to go out and teach others what he taught them. This was a big part of his teachings. Not only did he teach others to love and serve God, but he wanted those who heard and applied those teachings to also teach the same philosophy to others.
This is what creates the ancient prophetic lineage of teachers, that began thousands of years ago with Melchizedek. Jesus was, in fact, a teacher in the Melchizedek order, as was Abraham, Lot, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Eli, Samuel, David, Jeremiah, Jonah, John the Baptist, and John's teacher and father, Zechariah and many in between.
This is why we find in Hebrews, referring to the Prophet lineage and Lord Jesus:
For it is declared: “You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.” (Hebrews 7:17)followed by:
Because of this oath, Jesus has become the guarantor of a better covenant. (Hebrews 7:22)This 'order of Melchizedek" is a lineage of teachers that began with the Priest and King Melchizedek. We find, for example, that Abraham was a student of Melchizedek:
Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. He was priest of God Most High, and he blessed Abram, saying, "Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth. And praise be to God Most High, who delivered your enemies into your hand." Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything. (Genesis 14:18-20)
This Melchizedek was king of Salem and priest of God Most High. He met Abraham returning from the defeat of the kings and blessed him, and Abraham gave him a tenth of everything. First, the name Melchizedek means "king of righteousness"; then also, "king of Salem" means "king of peace. Without father or mother, without genealogy, without beginning of days or end of life, resembling the Son of God, he remains a priest forever. (Hebrews 7:1-4)Then, of course, we find that Lot and Jacob were Abraham's students, and Jacob had twelve students - now often referred to as the Twelve Tribes of Israel because they went to different parts of the region to preach, and each established their respective followings.
The Bible follows the teaching lineage of Jacob. We find, for example, Moses passed on those teachings, as well as Joshua his student.
The lineage continues later, as Eli teaches Samuel, and Samuel teaches Saul and David. That teaching lineage continues on to Jesus, and this is why Jesus was often called "son" (follower) of David.
Many have misinterpreted much of this lineage to be a genealogical lineage of kings. This is a gross misinterpretation. Many of these teachers were not kings. And while there may have been some familial relationships between teacher and son, this was not always the case. For example, Joshua was not the son of Moses, and Samuel was not the son of Eli, and David was neither the son of Saul or Samuel.
Part of this misinterpretation is the use of the Hebrew word בֵּן (ben), which can mean "son" in the family sense or "student" or "follower" when used in the context of preaching.
Were these teachings passed on before Jesus?
Now we find that Jesus is passing on those teachings that were passed on from teacher to student for thousands of years. He is telling his students, who have heard his confidential teachings:
"And the Teachings must first be preached before all peoples."The phrase "must first" means this is the priority. Jesus is setting the priority for his students - that they pass on his teachings - the teachings of the Prophets - to others.
Many have said that Jesus taught a different philosophy than the Prophets before him. But this is simply not true. Yes, parts of the teachings can be adjusted to the time and circumstance, especially in the case of rituals and practices. But the central backbone of the teachings did not change. This is why, when Jesus was asked what was the most important teaching, he quoted Moses' teaching from Deuteronomy 6:5:
Then one of the scribes approached – after hearing their argument, and seeing that Jesus answered wisely – and asked him, “What is the most important instruction of all?” Jesus replied, “The most important of all the instructions is, ‘Hear O Israel – the LORD our God is our only Lord – and you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength’ – this is the most important instruction." (Mark 12: 29-30)
Is Jesus predicting his followers will be persecuted?
Jesus is warning that his followers may be persecuted for their teachings. This is something that happened to Jesus but also occurred to many of the Prophets as well, including Jesus' own teacher, John the Baptist.
Jesus understood that the Romans will be dominating the lands of Judea over the coming century. He knew that his students would be persecuted, sometimes by the Judean councils and sometimes by the Romans themselves.
This prediction, in fact, did come to pass, with the Jewish-Roman wars, and the imprisonment and persecutions of Peter, James and others.
What is 'speaking from the Holy Spirit'?
Jesus is also explaining the process of how the Supreme Being utilizes His representatives to speak on His behalf. This takes place through the Holy Spirit, which is an extension of the Supreme Being who sits next to each of us.
When a person has established a loving service relationship with the Supreme Being, God may begin speaking through that person, according to the time and circumstance. When this takes place, the person essentially becomes the medium of the Truth, as God utilizes the Holy Spirit to speak through the person.
This indicates also that Jesus' own teachings were not his - but were the teachings of the Holy Spirit. Consider carefully Jesus' statement in this regard:
"But whatever will be given to you at that time you will speak – because it is not you that speaks, but the Holy Spirit."