Text: Luke 23:26-31
I’m taking a break from 1 Samuel because of the Gospel text of the day. This text to me has always been one of the scariest in all of scripture. To who is this warning given? Most commentators take it only as specifically to Jerusalem and warning once again of what will happen in AD 70. Very critical scholars will say it is made up after the fact. (The Jesus Seminar I’m sure put this quote in black letters indicating no chance the Jesus spoke it.) Only Luke records the presence of the women on the path and Jesus’ words to them – which fits with Luke’s overall attention to women and the high likelihood of Mary being one of his sources. The trouble with words like this is the scope. Do they apply only to that time, or does time telescope. Many of the OT prophecies about Jesus (like Isa 7:14) have a close fulfillment and then a greater fulfillment in Jesus. When Jesus speaks about AD 70 (Luke 21:5-24) does he also speak about a greater Day of the Lord?
Matt 24:22 gives our answer of hope – do not be afraid. Those days will be cut short for the sake of the elect. In more poetic language maybe you could speak of a tree planted over a stream (Ps 1:3). The church is a tree planted on the stream of life, Jesus. With such life giving water does the tree ever fully go dry? Our hope is not for this world, and we are already living in the next. That second death – the dry branches thrown in the flames – will not touch us.