Prepare yourself to discern what is and what is not of God today. Still yourself so you can hear how God is calling you.
5 When some were speaking about the temple, how it was adorned with beautiful stones and gifts dedicated to God, he said, 6 “As for these things that you see, the days will come when not one stone will be left upon another; all will be thrown down.”
7 They asked him, “Teacher, when will this be, and what will be the sign that this is about to take place?” 8 And he said, “Beware that you are not led astray; for many will come in my name and say, ‘I am he!’ and, ‘The time is near!’ Do not go after them.
9 “When you hear of wars and insurrections, do not be terrified; for these things must take place first, but the end will not follow immediately.” 10 Then he said to them, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; 11 there will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and plagues; and there will be dreadful portents and great signs from heaven.
12 “But before all this occurs, they will arrest you and persecute you; they will hand you over to synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors because of my name. 13 This will give you an opportunity to testify. 14 So make up your minds not to prepare your defense in advance; 15 for I will give you words and a wisdom that none of your opponents will be able to withstand or contradict. 16 You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers, by relatives and friends; and they will put some of you to death. 17 You will be hated by all because of my name. 18 But not a hair of your head will perish.
This is a difficult passage to read and understand removed from its context. As we consider it not for our times, but this time of Jesus’ life and ministry how do we understand what he meant. One way is to consider not the persecution Jesus refers to but the hope he provides his followers. Challenges will come, relationships will be tested, harm may be threatened and even caused but his disciples will be given words and wisdom. We all face trials and temptations. Faith in Christ provides a way through.
How has Jesus granted you words and wisdom to face these challenges in your life?
Mighty God, help us to lean on your words and wisdom. Help us to focus on you in life no matter if things are good, bad, or somewhere in-between. Guide us, always. Amen.
Go with God!