Remember, you are not to prepare your defense beforehand,
for I myself shall give you a wisdom in speaking
that all your adversaries will be powerless to resist or refute.
Gospel Lk 21:5-11
I have a hard time comprehending this statement, especially in light of the written Gospel that is so widely distributed today thanks to the wild advances in communication technology. What also gives me trouble is understanding this knowing of cannon law, and doctrines such as the catechism. All are written and prepared in advance. What brings a little understanding to this statement is that word defense. Defense is a word that has a legal connotation. If someone has a defense, they also would have its opposite as the prosecutor. Legal defense is something people will pay generously for as a good defense many times will lessen the strength of the prosecutor. A good defense can often be the difference between life and death, and in such cases that defense is prepared carefully and in advance. Perhaps that is the reason Jesus did not wish them to prepare it in advance? In advance the defense is constructed to sway an opinion. It need not be true, and is not always wrong. It is crafted to gain a particular response, and that is a skill orators of the day spent years to perfect. For a skilled orator making a false message believable was the pinnacle of their craft. Selling a lie was the ultimate success. Jesus though did not wish his disciples to defend themselves, or to sway opinion in their favor. His was not a gospel of trickery or deceit or wining and loosing but was of wisdom and truth. His was not an interest in how a message was delivered, but about the message that was delivered. Wisdom and truth delivered by an uneducated laborer is powerfully eloquent, much more so than a empty lies delivered by an educated fool. Yet it was those deceitful oratories that were the fashion of the day.