Host: Ron House
And as he came out of the temple, one of his disciples said to him, “Look, Teacher, what wonderful stones and what wonderful buildings!” And Jesus said to him, “Do you see these great buildings? There will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.” And as he sat on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter and James and John and Andrew asked him privately, “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign when all these things are about to be accomplished?” And Jesus began to say to them, “See that no one leads you astray. Many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am he!’ and they will lead many astray. And when you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. This must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places; there will be famines. These are but the beginning of the birth pains. “But be on your guard. For they will deliver you over to councils, and you will be beaten in synagogues, and you will stand before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them. And the gospel must first be proclaimed to all nations. And when they bring you to trial and deliver you over, do not be anxious beforehand what you are to say, but say whatever is given you in that hour, for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit. And brother will deliver brother over to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death. And you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.
For the Jews, the city of Jerusalem (and the temple in particular), was a great source of pride. It was seen as a permanent and untouchable symbol of their glory as God’s chosen people. But in just a few short years, it would be completely destroyed. However, for Jesus’ disciples, there were even greater challenges that lay ahead. The path of faithfulness was going to prove to be a very difficult one, riddled with false teachers, persecution, and betrayal. They were not going to be alone, for the Holy Spirit would be with them to guide them. But their faithfulness would require commitment and endurance. Two thousand years have passed since Jesus spoke those words, yet they are just as true today as they ever were. Faithful discipleship is still a difficult path that demands commitment and endurance. It requires that our love for Christ be greater than our love for anything else. But at the end of that difficult road, there is a great prize. Jesus’ promise is a great one, and one that is sure: “But the one who endures to the end will be saved.”
Why is the Christian life often a difficult one?
Don’t forget to pray and have a great day!