Daily Readings and Thought for March 29th. “BUT WATCH YOURSELVES … “


 Today’s 21st chapter of Luke is very familiar.  Can some words become so familiar causing one’s thoughts to simply travel along well-trodden paths and maybe miss some of the intriguing “flowers” along the way?  Imagine you were reading this chapter for the first time!

Verses 20-24 were definitely fulfilled about 40 years after Jesus spoke them when the massive structure of the Temple was destroyed (v.6) and the nation ceased to exist.  Words that always catch our attention is that “Jerusalem will be trampled underfoot by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.” [v.24] In verses 29-32 we read of the budding of God’s fig tree, Israel (Joel 1 v.7) and Jesus’ words, “When you see these things taking place you know that the kingdom of God is near.  Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all has taken place.”

How long is a generation?  We will soon read in Numbers that “the LORD’s anger was kindled against Israel, and he made them wander in the wilderness forty years until all the generation that had done evil in the sight of the LORD was gone.” [32 v.13]  But that does not conclusively prove that the period of a generation is just 40 years.  We read in Psalm 90 that “the years of our life are seventy …” [v.10] So from when Israel was again established as a nation in 1948 for the first time since AD70, is the climax to come at the most 70 years from then?  Well the 75th anniversary of that date is now passed.But the Jews did not possess the old city of Jerusalem until 1967, so could that be the starting date? 

Many have exercised their minds greatly on the dates in Daniel 12 and watch movements among the nations of the Middle East. But Jesus says, “Watch yourselves” – look at the particular points he makes, “But watch yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life and that day come upon you suddenly like a trap.” [v.34]  The hearts of many people around us are weighed down for many reasons such as the tottering uncertainty of the money ‘God.’  Let our Master’s words in v.36 be ones we really take to heart, “stay awake at all times, praying you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.”  Strength?  How strong is your faith? Read 1 Cor. 16 v.13

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