Who can expect persecution? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.
Yesterday at church we were actually discussing the return of Christ and I got to bring up my views on this. My pastor was quite open to hearing about them which I was pleased to hear. I do think for a brief time there was discussion of the verse today. Let’s take a look and we might find more in there than just matters relating to eschatology.
“Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me.”
Before we get to the end times, let’s not skip over something Jesus says here. You will be hated by all nations because of me. If anyone else said that, we would consider them an egomaniac. Some skeptics of Jesus could see him in just that way.
Could we get a clue to how Jesus saw Himself? He would be the one that would determine how the apostles would be seen. Really consider what that means. Judaism was a view that was tolerated by the Roman Empire due to its being ancient. Jesus would not be treated the same way.
So now let’s get to the end times.
This is another verse that shows a look much more at the present situation. Jesus does not say they will be handed over to be persecuted. He says to the disciples that they will be persecuted. This makes sense if we have a talk going on about what the apostles can expect. It doesn’t for a future generation.
Let’s also say something about persecution. If you are following Jesus, you can expect some form of persecution, but because you are persecuted, it does not mean that you are following Jesus. There are people who take really foolish stances on Christianity as Christians and think that because some people give them a hard time, they must have made the right decision.
No. Sometimes people will just mistreat you because you’re a fool or a jerk.
So the apostles are told one of the signs then about the coming of Christ is persecution. Sunshine and rainbows will not be there before Jesus takes His throne. The world is in disarray and it’s all because of Jesus.
What else will this time hold?
We’ll continue next time.