Reading: Luke 21:10-24
Then He continued by saying to them, “Nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be great earthquakes, and in various places plagues and famines; and there will be terrors and great signs from heaven. “But before all these things, they will lay their hands on you and will persecute you, delivering you to the synagogues and prisons, bringing you before kings and governors for My name’s sake. It will lead to an opportunity for your testimony. So make up your minds not to prepare beforehand to defend yourselves; for I will give you utterance and wisdom which none of your opponents will be able to resist or refute. But you will be betrayed even by parents and brothers and relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death, and you will be hated by all because of My name. Yet not a hair of your head will perish. By your endurance you will gain your lives. “But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then recognize that her desolation is near. Then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains, and those who are in the midst of the city must leave, and those who are in the country must not enter the city; because these are days of vengeance, so that all things which are written will be fulfilled. Woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days; for there will be great distress upon the land and wrath to this people; and they will fall by the edge of the sword, and will be led captive into all the nations; and Jerusalem will be trampled under foot by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled. [NASB1995®]
Is the Lord speaking of the destruction of Jerusalem or the end of time? Although I have an understanding of this I believe there is something we can look at in this passage regardless of our eschatological interpretation.
The picture Jesus paints is seemingly bleak: there will be wars and conflicts between countries, there will be plagues and diseases, believers will be persecuted, arrested and brought before the authorities, in many cases, they will be reported and turned in by their own families.
Many, in reading these passages, often clearly identify that these times, our times, are being described. And they announce that the coming of the Lord is prompt.
We who have believed in the Lord Jesus long for His return; it is a glorious hope that we have, and it is clear that we are ever closer to that glorious day.
Now? That desire for the Lord to return… is it a desire to see Him and be with Him forever or is it simply a desire to escape this world? True, our gaze is set in heaven, we are not citizens of this earth and we long for the day when the Lord ends sin. Our gaze must be set on the Lord and His Glory.
As we await His coming, listen to what the Lord says…
If you are arrested and brought before the authorities for my sake… Excellent! It is an opportunity to bear witness to the Gospel! The Spirit will be with you and will tell you what you should say!
If you are persecuted, and delivered even by your own loved ones…don’t fear! I will watch over you, even if they take your life away, you are alive because I gave you life.
Someone once said that we must live as if the Lord is coming tomorrow and work as if he is coming years from now. In everything, we seek His glory.
MEDITATE: In the midst of the difficulties and confusion in which our world is submerged, are our hearts comforted in the certainty of knowing that we are His?
Scripture quotation taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Translation By: Emily Stader