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Friday, November 05, 2004

Prop. 28C - Lk 21:5-19 - Thoughts and Meditation

The Instruction Which WILL Get You Through the REALLY Hard Times!

I can really relate to the disciples in this story. Standing before the beautiful temple, Jesus says "Guess what? This is all going to be destroyed", and I say, "Really? When?"Summed up that is the essence of the disciples question. They have just arrived at the center of their universe, and they get told that that center will be wiped out. Did they bet on the answer they were going to get. I am thinking not. Here's why.

Jesus avoids a straight out answer. Instead, he says, "Do not be deceived." Deception? All I wanted to know was when, but Jesus sees eagerness in the my heart and the hearts of the disciples. Their hearts are ready to jump on any bandwagon that comes along, selling their brand of eschatology. Jesus warns them, because he wants the disciples to not take their lead from crackpots, but from the Lord and God himself, the Holy Spirit. The disciples heads are in one place, but Jesus wants to bring them somewhere else, into the mindset of a steadfast believer.

The disciples never seem to get a straight answer. This is why what Jesus says is difficult to make sense of. There will be wars, revolutions, the gentiles will take control of Jerusalem, they will be betrayed, the celestial bodies will provide signs and portents. Through it all though, one does not get the timeline that the disciples asked for. It is a broad description of the situation that the disciples are going to have to deal with. What is Jesus point through all this? In v14, &19 Jesus explains how they should REALLY be approaching the future. WITHOUT WORRY: Jesus will provide the words. STAND FIRM: you will gain life.

All of us would probably like to know what is coming up around the next bend on the road of life. Will it be days of enjoyment, or days of terror? Some of us may even hum a few bars of that Bobby McFerrin song, but how many would not be terrified if we were captured by an Al-Qaeda terror cell, and could boldly STAND FIRM, and give WITNESS. I believe that many of us reflecting on our comfortable position right now, might find that prospect WORRYING. Could or would we be the firm witnesses Jesus encouraged His disciples to be?

The part of this passage that stands out for me, is in verse 15, "I will give you...". This is the gospel in this weeks text. Standing in God's grace, HE gives us what we need.

1. Structural Diagram
2. Surrounding Context
3. Key Cross References
4. Key Questions
5. Thoughts and Meditation

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