21 “A brother will betray his brother to death, and a father his child; children will turn against their parents and have them put to death. 22 Everyone will hate you because of me, but whoever holds out till the end will be preserved from harm. 23 When you are persecuted in one town, run away to another. Yes indeed; I tell you, you will not finish going through the towns of Isra’el before the Son of Man comes.
Interesting words as we look at the days and times we live in. With protests (both riots and peaceful) happening around the world, communities of faith closed, families at home together all the time... it has caused hatred to rise. People do not understand each other. Arguments occur. Division is next. Where does it seem to stop?
Jesus gives us some clear words. He says that when we choose to follow Him, we will be hated. He says that people will turn against us, and choose to put us to death. These days of suffering might not stop. They might continue. Are we prepared for that?
Jesus never leaves us empty or without a promise, however. The words, "Whoever holds out until the end will be preserved from harm." If we CHOOSE to keep following Him no matter what is happening around us, we will be safe. If we CHOOSE to keep listening to His Spirit and obey, we will find ourselves "preserved from harm."
There is another piece of good news, "when" we are persecuted (it doesn't say "if"), we are allowed to "run away to another town." I don't see this as Jesus giving us a "way out." He is allowing us to keep ourselves safe. Jesus' words give us a way to keep ourselves from harm.
I pray that as we enter another Shabbat, that we take time to REST in Him and know that HE is with us. HE will lead us and guide us during these days of unrest. He is our safe place.
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