Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Luke 21:34-38

Luke 21:34-38
And hold to them lest your hearts should be weighed down in debauchery, drunkenness, and anxiety towards the things of this age so that day should come upon you all suddenly as a trap.  For it will surprise upon all the ones who are sitting upon the face of all the earth.  And be vigilant in all times while asking in order that you all should be strong enough to flee out against all these things that are about to become and to stand before the Son of Man.  And he was while teaching in the temple on the days and he was finding lodging in the nights while going out into the mountain – the one that is being called “of Olives.”  And all the people were rising early in the morning with him to hear him in the temple.

Thoughts for Today

First Thought:

I think that I’ll start with the easiest of the points in this section of verses.  Notice that at the end of this passage we hear that the people are rising to come and hear Jesus speak.  They are intrigued by His message.  This same message that is upsetting the religious leaders is also getting the attention of the people.  Granted, we can’t assume to know why the people are coming.  Many are no doubt listening and hoping that He is the Messiah.  Surely some are going out because they know there is conflict between Jesus and the religious leaders and they are waiting to see something dramatic.  But there can be little doubt that some of the people are going because they are genuinely curious about what Jesus is saying.  Many hearts are being kindled by His words.  Jesus is willing to risk the conflict in order to reach the hearts that might be kindled.

Are you willing to risk your public opinion in order to reach the hearts of people who might be listening?  Do you have a message within your heart that is worth proclaiming?

Second Thought:

Returning to the beginning of the passage, do you hear the words of Jesus?  Hold fast!  Be vigilant!  Jesus is confirming what we were told all the way back in Genesis 4:7.  Sin is crouching at the door.  There are so many ways that we can fall away from obedience to our Lord, and many of them are so subtle that we don’t always spot the danger.  As time goes on and the world drifts further away from God, it will only become easier and more acceptable to fall into sin.  We must hold fast.  We must study God’s Word in order to know that to which we are holding fast!  We must be vigilant, willing to look at our lives and expose the sinfulness within so that we continue to walk humbly before our God.

How are you vigilant?  What are the things in your life that allow you to hold fast to the Word of God which never passes away?

Third Thought:

Finally, let’s talk about this idea of surprise.  Once more we hear Jesus teaching that the time of the Lord will come upon us as a surprise.  He doesn’t say it here, but elsewhere Jesus compares it to a thief in the night.  Even with our ability to watch creation and see the violent tumult that will occur in nature, we still will not know the exact moment.  We may know the season, but not the precise timing.  We will all still be surprised.  That is why we need to be vigilant and hold fast.  We need to be vigilant so that even if we should be surprised we are still prepared to enter into life with our God.

Do you enjoy surprises?  Are you surprised to hear Jesus tell His disciples that the timing of the return of Jesus will be a surprise to them?  How does this help you listen to preachers in today’s age who predict the coming of the end?

Passage for Tomorrow: Luke 22:1-6
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