Our readings this week take a different turn as Jesus moves away from his controversies with the Jewish Leaders and returns to the teaching of his disciples. Jesus knows that the time is short and his disciples must be prepared for what is ahead. Our reading from the Gospel of Luke (21:5-19) is a portion of what is known as "The Olivet Discourse," because Jesus delivered it on the Mt. of Olives.
Jesus' words are a stern warning to the disciples and to us of what lies ahead. “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and pestilences. And there will be terrors and great signs from heaven. But before all this they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors for my name's sake. This will be your opportunity to bear witness. Settle it therefore in your minds not to meditate beforehand how to answer, for I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which none of your adversaries will be able to withstand or contradict. You will be delivered up even by parents and brothers and relatives and friends, and some of you they will put to death. You will be hated by all for my name's sake. But not a hair of your head will perish. By your endurance you will gain your lives."
The last line is worth repeating, "By your endurance you will gain your lives." The NIV Bible says, "by standing firm you will gain life." If we compare this to Paul's letter (2 Thessalonians 3:6-13), we have a more complete picture of how we are to live as Christians. Paul urges the Thessalonians, "do not grow weary in doing good"
So our message for this week seems to be: Do not grow weary in doing good and stand firm- because in doing so we will gain life. A good reminder to us all to, “be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that we can take our stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” (Eps. 6:10-12)
And all the more as we see the Day approaching.
Blessings to you,