21:5 When some were speaking about the temple, how it was adorned with beautiful stones and gifts dedicated to God, he said,
21:6 “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.”
21:7 They asked him, “Teacher, when will this be, and what will be the sign that this is about to take place?”
21:8 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.
21:9 “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.”
21:10 Then he said to them, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom;
21:11 there will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and plagues; and there will be dreadful portents and great signs from heaven.
21:12 “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.
21:13 This will give you an opportunity to testify.
21:14 So make up your minds not to prepare your defense in advance;
21:15 for I will give you words and a wisdom that none of your opponents will be able to withstand or contradict.
21:16 You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers, by relatives and friends; and they will put some of you to death.
21:17 You will be hated by all because of my name.
21:18 But not a hair of your head will perish.
21:19 By your endurance you will gain your souls.
One day Jesus will come again to take us home to be with Him. Jesus tells them that throughout the Christian life, there will be times when we face trials and suffer for the name of Christ. He tells them that regardless of the chaos that goes around them, our faith and comfort is rooted in Christ. During hard trials and scary situations, God remains in control and He never changes.
Verse 15 says that He will give us the words to say and how to respond. He is our strength and He alone can bring us the practical peace that we need to endure such times. Fear is not something that needs to be part of the Christian life because our faith is rested firmly in Christ.
When we are faced with an opposing threat that attempts to take down our faith, we know that because of our relationship with Christ, we are able to fight back with full confidence knowing that He will carry us through and sustain us through any threat that we face.
Many believe the current world unrest is a sign of the end times. According to Jesus’ own words they are indeed one of the signs. Yet it should be pointed out that far worse world wars have been waged and the end did not arrive. Therefore, we must be wise and realize that our current situation is not unique in history. Yes, Jesus will return eventually but many things are predicted to happen before that day appears.
In the meantime, we aught to be keeping ourselves busy doing the work that Jesus left for us. There is no benefit in wasting away trying to guess the times and seasons that Jesus will return. Rather, let us busy ourselves with doing good for others and loving people like Jesus did. Let us work on our own spiritual fruit and not live in fear of the world around us. When Jesus does return He will be looking for those who produced good fruit, not those who were able to accurately predict His return.
[Featured image from www.childrensbulletins.org]