Because of My Name

Scripture Reading: Luke 19:45-21:38; SOAP / Luke 21:17-19

17 You will be hated by everyone because of my name. 18 Yet not a hair of your head will perish. 19 By your endurance you will gain your lives.

Luke 21:17-19 NET

Jesus is speaking to His disciples in this passage, both then and now. He is preparing them for what is to come – yet again making the point that –

  • following Him comes at a cost
  • following Him will be challenging
  • following Him may cost us our life (such as Jim Elliott and others) but can not rob us of eternal life – that which really matters
  • enduring trials and testings, hatred, ridicule, and even danger will bring us to a place where, as James wrote, “we are perfect and complete not needing anything.”

In other words, as Luke writes here, as we endure the troubles and hardships of this life we will “gain our lives – that is eternal life, which explains the statement “not a hair of our head will perish. This basically means that while we may perish at the hand of evil doers – but ultimately giving up our life for His sake – we will save it — for we are eternally secure in Christ.

The Reality of His Words

As I sat wondering how in the world to apply Christ’ statement and the reality that we, as His disciples/followers, are going to be hated because of His Name these four thoughts came to mind:

  • “Be prepared” [1 Peter 5:8 – Be self-controlled and alert, your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.]
    • Peter wrote his first letter to God’s chosen people who were living as foreigners in the five Roman provinces of Asia Minor- an area currently found in northern Turkey
    • This is quite applicable to believers today as we too find ourselves much like those Peter wrote to, “aliens and strangers in a foreign culture.”
  • “Forewarned is forearmed” [Ephesians 6:10-18 – …  Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. …Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness.  For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.]
    • Apparently, this 3-word phrase, “forewarned is forearmed”, is a saying that must have been in the recesses of my mind because as I started to think of all the implications of Jesus’ statement to the disciples, it was one of the four thoughts I had. Looking it up I found it, not only out their in cyber world, but defined as though it were written as a commentary on this verse – check it out:
      • “prior knowledge of possible dangers or problems that gives one a tactical advantage” – surely this is what Christ intended as He spoke with the disciples about what they would face in the coming days.
  • “Be Still” [Psalm 46:10-11 – Be still, and know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world.” The LORD of Heaven’s Armies is here among us; the God of Israel is our fortress.]
    • I don’t know about you, but if I am going to have to know someone hates me and that my life is in jeopardy – I need to remember that God, The LORD of Heaven’s Armies is with me. This alone, will help me to ‘be still’.
  • “Trust in the Lord” [Proverbs 3:5 –Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding. Acknowledge him in all your ways, and he will make your paths straight.]
    • No one wants to be hated or disliked. When we are It’s so tempting to do what we know will please others in order to get them to like us – but we must above all else stay the course of following Jesus and not lean toward what we know or think will make us blend in or be more liked by ‘the world’ but instead – we must see the Lord in all we do and allow Him to guide our choices and path.

Though Peter’s Christian readers may have been scattered, in part, by religious persecution, his use of the word “exile” points to one of the main ideas of this letter: that believers no longer call this time and place home. Our citizenship is in heaven; we represent our true king and country while living as aliens and strangers in a foreign culture.
Response to the Word

Father, there are so many applications I could have written down but as I began to write, Your Spirit – reminded me of your Words and of a “saying” I didn’t even know was a saying – but it’s meaning so applicable to today’s lesson from Your Word. Thank You for all of the ways Jesus prepared us for what is ahead of his disciples. Help us to follow on – not turning away when others hate or mock or accuse us because of your name. help us to remember that if we try to hang on to our life we will lose it but if we give up our life for Your sake we will find it. Help us to daily put on the Your armor and to have the attitude of Jesus – who laid down his life for ours, so that we might live! This is my prayer – in Jesus’ name – Amen and Amen!

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