Jesus Teaching on the Mt. of Olives – The Olivet Discourse
On Tuesday afternoon of #HolyWeek, after preaching in the temple all morning, Jesus and the disciples traveled up the Mt. of Olives, just outside the city. Using parable and symbolic language, Jesus delivered what is now referred to as the Olivet Discourse, a prophetic description of the destruction of Jerusalem, the coming of the Son of Man, and the end of the age. This passage from Luke foretells of wars, persecution, and disaster that followers of Christ will experience in the last days.
#RadicalWords – Luke 21:10-19 (ESV)
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 pestilences. And there will be terrors and great signs from heaven. 12 But before all this they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors for my name’s sake.13 This will be your opportunity to bear witness. 14 Settle it therefore in your minds not to meditate beforehand how to answer, 15 for I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which none of your adversaries will be able to withstand or contradict. 16 You will be delivered up even by parents and brothers[a] and relatives and friends, and some of you they will put to death. 17 You will be hated by all for my name’s sake. 18 But not a hair of your head will perish. 19 By your endurance you will gain your lives.”
According to David Guzik, Jesus was making three general points focused on how as believers we should “walk in these dangerous times:”
1. To walk in these dangerous times, do not be frightened by catastrophes commonly associated with the end times – Wars, pestilence, earthquakes, catastrophe were all recorded prior to and since the destruction of Jerusalem. They have all been experienced since Jesus left the earth and should not be taken themselves as the sings of Jesus’ coming.
2. To walk in these dangerous times, do not worry about your legal defense when you are persecuted and face charges because of your Christian witness – Our greatest occasions for testimony come when we are “on trial” before others, either in a formal or an informal sense. We can trust Jesus that He will do as He promised.
3. To walk in these dangerous times, when all others turn against you, persevere and take a firm stand – Our souls will be kept by the strong endurance that the Lord works into us.