The Invitation - Day 24

Luke 21:8

He replied, “Don’t let anyone mislead you, for many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and saying, ‘The time has come!’ But don’t believe them. 9 And when you hear of wars and insurrections, don’t panic. These things must occur first, but the end won’t follow immediately.” 10 Then he added, “Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. 11 There will be great earthquakes, and there will be famines and plagues in many lands, and there will be terrifying things and great miraculous signs from heaven.

Okay, this is a lot. Jesus jumps right in from the beginning. He gives us words of encouragement as well as words of warning. Let's break them down quickly.

  1. He tells them that people will be coming, saying they are the messiah. At that time, some even used the mysterious divine name (ego eimi-in Greek) to prove their point. Jesus is letting his disciples know these people should not be listened to. Jesus advises not to follow them, which will lead to nothing good. 
  2. He tells us that there will be wars, and nations will fight against nations. Also, many lands will have earthquakes, famines, and plagues. There will likely be a lot going on. But much of this is always going on. 

Now, this is just the beginning. But a few things that we might take note of here. Many of these things have been happening consistently over the last two millennia. Often, when we read this kind of eschatological literature, we feel the urgency of the moment as it feels like Jesus is speaking into today’s situations around the world. It is safe to say he is, but he also talked to their situations in the 1st century. So there is a bit of a Both/And situation happening here.

It should also be noted that every generation reading these words felt like Jesus was speaking to them. And, of course, he was talking to them as a warning as much as for any other reason. To remind them that the end of things will happen as their lives end.

I used to have an app called “Ring of Fire” with all the earthquakes currently happening around the Pacific Rim. I had to delete that app because it was notifying me too often, as there are a ridiculous amount of earthquakes happening worldwide every day, seemingly every hour.

What I mean by all this is that we are wise to think and study about the end of time as Jesus spoke to it, but we can take a cautious attitude toward it rather than be moved to anxiety. This is not to say that things will not end, but we need to find the principles in the words of Jesus. The principle we see here is that things are tough and could get more arduous, and we are to lean into the peace and security of Jesus.

  1. Have you ever studied End Times? How did it make you feel? 
  2. How can we read these words and not be anxious? 
  3. Who should we put our trust in at times like this?

By Pastor Timothy Gillespie

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