Luke 21: 5–19
Some people were talking about the beautiful stones used to build the temple and about the gifts that had been placed in it.
Jesus said, “Do you see these stones? The time is coming when not one of them will be left in place. They will all be knocked down.”
Some people asked, “Teacher, when will all this happen? How can we know when these things are about to take place?”
Jesus replied: “Don’t be fooled by those who will come and claim to be me. They will say, “I am Christ!” and “Now is the time!” But don’t follow them. When you hear about wars and riots, don’t be afraid. These things will have to happen first, but that isn’t the end. Nations will go to war against one another, and kingdoms will attack each other. There will be great earthquakes, and in many places people will starve to death and suffer terrible diseases. All sorts of frightening things will be seen in the sky.
Before all this happens, you will be arrested and punished. You will be tried in your meeting places and put in jail. Because of me you will be placed on trial before kings and governors. But this will be your chance to tell about your faith.
Don’t worry about what you will say to defend yourselves. I will give you the wisdom to know what to say. None of your enemies will be able to oppose you or to say that you are wrong. You will be betrayed by your own parents, brothers, family, and friends. Some of you will even be killed. Because of me, you will be hated by everyone.
But don’t worry! You will be saved by being faithful to me.
Sometimes you just don’t want to hear the honest truth – or if you do – you don’t want to believe it. Luke is so straightforward, like it or not, a plain-speaker. And, surely, after reading this Gospel you would wonder why anyone would have wanted to be a follower.
After knowing that history shows that these experiences have happened; continue to happen; you would wonder why, in these days, there would be any point in being a Christian. If the early followers thought they were living in the End Days – then where must we be?
It is passages like these that suggest that very little has changed. Man’s inhumanity to man continues, with only the evolving of weaponry and excuses to enter into conflict after conflict.
The peace seekers are still the persecuted ones. Trying to follow the Christian message is likely to put you in the minority. And, even Jesus suggests, there is very little you can do about that. Except – know that you are loved.