Read thru New Testament Devotional – April 27, 2017

April 27

 

Luke 21:1-19

Luke 21:1-4-Jesus and the disciples were watching the people present their offerings to God.  He brought it to the attention of the disciples that the rich people were just giving “out of their surplus” (the extra cash that they would never miss, pocket change).  On the other hand, He pointed out how a “poor widow” was giving.  She had no leftovers to give.  So, she gave the very money she needed to live on.  In God’s eyes…her offering amounted to much more than everything put together that the rich people had given.  God is more interested in the reason that we give, than the amount that we give.  If our attitude is right, then the amount will be right.  If our attitude is wrong, then no amount will ever suffice.

Luke 21:5-19-They were looking at the beauty of the Temple and Jesus prophesied that one day not one stone would be left standing.

 

For information on the destruction of the Temple in 70 A.D. see:

http://www.templemount.org/destruct2.html

http://biblehub.com/library/schaff/history_of_the_christian_church_volume_i/section_38_the_jewish_war.htm

 

The disciples asked Him when that would take place, and what would be the sign that it was about to happen.  Jesus warns them to not be misled...for many will come claiming to be the Messiah, there will be wars and disturbances...these things will happen, but do not mean that it is about to happen.  He then continued by mentioning other cataclysmic events that will take place (:8-11).  But even before these take place they will be persecuted...giving them an opportunity to share their testimony (:12-17).  Don't try to prepare a defense beforehand...because He will give "utterance and wisdom which none of your opponents will be able to resist or refute" (cf. 12:11).  This does not mean that we should not have a clear, rational presentation of the Gospel.  But, that we should not be solely dependent upon our own abilities, persuasiveness, and logic.  The explanation is that God will give us wisdom and understanding concerning how to respond in each particular circumstance.  He will give us power that goes beyond human reasoning and ability.  Jesus then gives a wonderful word of encouragement and confidence by telling them that “not a hair of your head will perish”.  From historical accounts we know that of the 11 Apostles alive after the resurrection, 10 of them suffered martyrdom.  So, Jesus must not be speaking of physical death, here.  He is actually speaking of the fact that even though they would die physically (some would die gruesome deaths), their eternal life was secure and despite everything that the world would bring against them…nothing, absolutely nothing could change that reality.  And in fact, their faithful endurance in the face of these trials would be a testimony that they were Heaven bound (:19-20).

 

How did the Apostles die?

http://amazingbibletimeline.com/bible_questions/q6_apostles_die/

https://www.reclaimingthemind.org/content/Parchmentandpen/DeathoftheApostles.pdf

 

Prayer: Lord, please fill me with the very kind of spiritual power that You speak of here.  I will prepare and be ready to give testimony concerning You at all times...but unless You give me supernatural power I am nothing.  Please anoint me with Your Holy Spirit and with power.

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