“But it will turn out for you as an occasion for testimony.”– Luke 21:13
It was Peter, James, John, and Andrew sitting with Jesus on the Mount of Olives. They overlooked Jerusalem during Jesus’ passion week. Jesus gave His Olivet Discourse. Regarding this section of Scripture, the New Testament scholar Earle Ellis said, “this has been the subject of more scholarly debate than perhaps any other passage in the gospels.” How right he was. As Jesus responds to the disciples’ questions about the end times, the Lord goes beyond all they could ask or think. Jesus’ answer is a telescoping prophecy.
Jesus never provided dates. It is said that He answered pastorally. With care, love, compassion, instruction, and encouragement. As if to say, “I’m going to tell you the truth up front. But, when it is all said and done, be encouraged. I am coming back for you.” We always find mercy before judgment with the Lord (James 2:13).
Every generation in history has seen signs that Jesus describes in this chapter. As the time for the Lord’s return gets closer, they will intensify. As Christians, we cannot forget the needs of the lost. Those who are scared and in search of answers. People who are looking for hope and love. If their focus is only on the signs, they can be deceived and susceptible to false teaching. It is the Christian duty to use these occasions for a testimony. May we not be quicker to share God’s judgment than we are His grace. The grace given through His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.