Jesus and His disciples have left the city and arrived on Mt. Olive. Jesus decides to take a break there and He spends some time talking with His disciples about what to expect from the future.
Jesus is sitting down looking out toward the temple when Peter, James, John, and Andrew approach Him privately. Had the group stopped by the wayside to eat? Anyway, they have a question for Jesus. They had heard His answer about the temple being destroyed, now is their chance to get more information on that subject. I’m wondering if Jesus shared this information with the rest of the group or if He kept His comments private, as this was the only group who voiced interest in knowing more.
While we were in Matthew we looked at this event. We talked about the signs Jesus said would happen in the blog titled Signs of the End of the Age. Today I want to look at how Jesus said His followers would be treated and how they would be assisted by the Holy Spirit.
Jesus first words to them were VERY important, then and now. “See that no one leads you astray” (verse 5). We need to pay close attention to those we are listening to. If it doesn’t line up with what Jesus said, turn and RUN the other way!
Jesus, shortly thereafter, told His disciples to be on guard because very tough times were ahead for them personally. His words are an exact prophecy of what His disciples would face in their lives and an example of what many of us will face. His disciples were handed over to be beaten and killed for His name’s sake. But they also received the other promise He shared. They were given what to speak by the Holy Spirit at the hour of their need. Stephen was a prime example of that specific gift from God. This promise applies to us too, when we heed it.
The final warning in this section of Jesus’ cautions was that even family members would turn against one another for His name’s sake. Brother against brother, parents against children, and children against parents.
Before His disciples get too discouraged by what He has shared, He gives them this promise; “But the one who endures to the end will be saved” (verse 13). That promise was for the four asking the question, those listening in or sitting nearby, for us today, and for everyone still yet to come. The end doesn’t simply mean the end of days, but also the end of us. Our love for Him lasts us to the end of our days. He is faithful to see us through to that time personally and to be on the other side of death when we arrive. You can take that promise to the bank. No matter what this life throws at you, He is faithful.
Father God, I know I haven’t been asked to give my life for You or to take a stand that would result in my death or persecution. But You ask me to stand for You in regular things. Where I work or wherever my life takes me I am to be a light for You. I want to live up to the lyrics in the Newsboys song “Guilty.” Forgive me when my light doesn’t shine so bright. I want to say I will never deny You, but I’m simply going to ask You to take care of any situations where I would be in danger of doing that. I ask You to fulfil Your promise of having Your Holy Spirit speak for me at those times. Thank You that no matter what, when You bring me to it, You WILL bring me through it. If not in this world, then in the next.