Jesus who proclaims the truth
Reading: Luke 21:5-19
Additional reading: 2 Thess 3: 6-13
Hymn: 440, 355, 357 (354)
Blanks: thrown, follow, end, testimony, words
Jesus came to shine God’s light.
There were darkness in the world because the priests and teachers were talking about God without understanding who God is.
Some of them were called Rabbi, or experts in law.
Because they didn’t understand God, they were spreading false rumors about God and misled people when people came to know God.
When they explained about God, they explained about a mean, judgmental and very picky god who loves money and has fun making people follow his difficult inhumane rules.
Like this they were standing between God and people and prevent people to come closer to God who loves them.
Jesus grew up with them and got tired of them.
So when Jesus started his ministry, Jesus called them hypocrites and liars.
Jesus said that they were like beautiful tombs which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean.
Meaning, they were spiritually dead.
So they were guiding people to become heartless and judgmental people who pretended that they were righteous.
Jesus pointed out and opposed them and openly challenged them so that he could save some of them.
So those religious experts got mad and oppose Jesus.
They wanted to challenge Jesus’ teaching and find some fault in his words.
But they could not find any fault.
Jesus was so wise and perfect in his speech.
But still they wanted to kill Jesus.
So they tried to find some reasons to accuse him so that they could officially oppose him and kill him.
Jesus was the Messiah that they didn’t wanted to have.
But a big crowd of people loved Jesus and respected him as a prophet.
So these religious experts decided to kill Jesus in a shrewd way so that people might not riot against them.
Jesus became famous, because he cured so many people.
How could people not love him when Jesus healed their sister, mom, brother, father, son and friends?
Jesus healed everyone whom they brought to Jesus.
How could they not love this Jesus who blessed the poor?
So those common people loved him.
Only when Jesus spoke God’s truth, some tried to kill him.
There were times when Jesus preached and they tried to kill him.
When Jesus preached at his own hometown, he said that God chose to show mercy to others instead of them.
Jesus talked about their spiritual state.
But instead of repenting and accepting the message of Jesus, they wanted to kill Jesus.
In another time, when Jesus said that he is the Son of God, religious people tried to kill Jesus.
In other time, Jesus healed people on Sabbath and humiliated those who stopped Jesus from healing on Sabbath.
Then they wanted to kill Jesus.
Then some people said that Jesus was out of his mind.
Even his relatives of Jesus agreed with them.
Because when they heard about the words of Jesus, they could sense that Jesus was heading for a big trouble.
It was not the Jesus that they knew.
When he started his ministry, Jesus didn’t hide the truth.
Jesus talked about the truth whether people liked it or not.
Jesus talked about the truth whether people killed him or not.
Jesus shines God’s light saying:
“I am the truth, the way and the life.”
Then as the time of his departure came close, things became very intense.
Those priests kicked people out of their synagogues if they thought Jesus as a prophet, or a messiah.
They didn’t allow them to use their marketplaces.
Then they tried to work with Roman officials to accuse him saying that Jesus taught people not to pay tax and claim himself to be the king over the Jews.
Jesus knew and spoke against them.
Jesus was like:
“They killed God’s prophets and holy people.
They killed those who tried to give God glory.
They misused God’s temple for their profits.”
Then sometimes, Jesus spent time only with his students.
Jesus was happy that they believed that Jesus spoke the truth.
It was emotionally difficult to speak the truth knowing to be killed.
Can you imagine how difficult it was for Jesus to maintain his emotional stability?
I am not sure whether I could handle this kind of emotional pressure:
But Jesus told his students that those high priests would reject Jesus, and hand him over to be killed.
Jesus told that he would be handed over to the Romans to be killed.
Jesus would go through this to save God’s elect.
He was ready to die to save the people he loved.
So their job was not to protect Jesus.
It was the will of God.
Then Jesus informed that they would also experience rejection and persecution to save more people.
They would face oppositions to save people in the name of Jesus.
Some people would reject them when they preached the truth.
But some would obey and accept the story of Jesus.
Anyway, preparing his heart Jesus came to Jerusalem.
In a few days, Jesus would be captured and crucified.
Then Jesus again drove out the merchants at the temple.
Jesus was like:
“God wants people to pray in the temple.
Get rid of this fundraising stuff.”
The priests who took care of the temple felt attacked and challenged.
Then even his student Judas Iscariot decided to betray Jesus and hand him over to the priests.
But other students didn’t really understand what was going on.
So looking at the Jewish temple in Jerusalem, they were like:
Look at this temple, Jesus.
What beautiful stones!
What a wonderful gift to God!”
They could not understand.
They were not ready to understand what Jesus was facing.
So Jesus taught them:
“The days are coming when all these stones will be thrown down.”
Then they were shocked and asked:
When is it going to be?”
Instead of saying, “37 years later” Jesus explained to them about many future events.
Jesus was like:
“False teachers are going to show up.
Some will say: “I am Jesus.” (Have you heard about them?)
Some will say “Jesus is the Christ,” and deceive people, just like Satan tried to tempt Jesus quoting the Bible.
They will talk about Jesus in a wrong way and mislead others.
“Some false teachers will talk about the end time in unhealthy ways.
They will say, “The time is near. The end is near!” and make people feel fearful.
And when they are fearful, these false teachers will mislead them.
They will use this part of the truth out of proportion.
So if anyone talks about the end time too much and prepares for the end time, be aware and don’t go after them.
Those who try to save their life in a wrong way may lose it.
Those who are interested in the end time rather than Jesus, are misled. Just bear God’s fruits in the name of Jesus.
Then God will come and find you.”
Jesus didn’t want his students to be influenced by those false teachers.
Jesus didn’t want them to be influenced by the pharisees and the teachers of the law.
When Jesus talks about the end time, he did in order to help people to serve God and people.
It is not to scare them but to encourage them to trust God and love God and obey God Jesus.
Then they are safe in Jesus.
Then Jesus talked about the end like this:
“You can sense when the world is heading to its end.
Nation will rise against nation.
Kingdom against kingdom.
There will be great earthquakes, famines and plagues in many places.
There will be fearful events and great signs from heaven.
People may faint in fear of what is coming.”
But before these things happened, the truth of Jesus is shared in its full power.
Then some false teachers may feel threatened and hate those who carried the message of Jesus.
They may persecute those who speak the truth of Jesus saying that they are troublemakers.
Jesus spoke like this:
“People will arrest you and persecute you.
They will hand you over to prisons.
You will be brought before kings and governors because of my name.
Do you know why these things will happen?
Because you are also my people and my mouths.
They will give you an opportunity to speak the truth for me.
So you don’t prepare anything to say.
I will give you the words of wisdom to say.”
Until the end, God will use God’s people to speak the truth.
Then people will at least hear from God.
Speaking God’s truth, they may suffer but some will listen to God's voice and realize the truth and have eternal life.
Then because it will become so intense, Jesus said something like this:
“There is no telling who will hate you because of me.
People will worry and be panic.
So, even your parents, brothers, relatives and friends will turn you in.
Then they will put some of you to death.”
Then Jesus assured them like this:
“But, God is in control.
Every detail of your body and soul, even the hairs of your head, is in my care.
So, stay with me.
Stay with me to the end.
That's what is required.
You'll be saved.
You won't be sorry.
Christ in you is greater than anything.
So, don’t worry or act out of fear.
Have faith in me.
God is with you.
There is nothing you need to worry about.
Act out of peace.
Help people to find true peace of God.”
Then a few days later, Jesus was captured, insulted, persecuted and killed.
It was God’s plan.
So Jesus didn’t fight with those who tried to kill him.
Jesus didn’t destroy them with his heavenly power.
Jesus came to give his life so that he could save his people.
But Satan might have tempted Jesus saying:
“No! You cannot die here.
You need to protect your truth.
If you die here, who will preach the truth?”
But Jesus knew that in order to bring the eternal kingdom of God, he needed to speak the truth and die and rise again.
Then he could bring God’s kingdom when he returns, on the last day.
So Jesus moved along with God’s plan.
Jesus gave his life to God on the cross and then rose again to shine God’s truth.
When his students speak for God, they may experience oppositions.
Some spoke the truth and were crucified.
So Satan might have tempted them too.
“No! You cannot die here.
You need to speak the truth of Jesus.
If you die here, who will preach the truth?”
Jesus said something like this:
“Like every seed, if you die for the truth, you will bear much fruits.
But if you love your life and could not let go, you will lose your life and its fruits.
But if you lose your life for the gospel of Jesus, you will be saved and have eternal life.”
So like this, they glorify God through their death, just like Jesus set his life as the example.
God’s people speak God’s truth even though some people may not welcome God’s truth, just like Jesus of Nazareth speaks the truth and lives today.
When we know God’s truth, we need to speak God’s truth, even if we may die.
Then we produce God’s fruits.
In this way we shine God’s light.
Then one day we will rise to live in the power of the Holy Spirit.
When we speak God’s truth, we may find new friends.
Or we may find new enemies.
Then we need to pray for our enemies and bless them.
We are called to pray according to what God wants.
But when we fail to speak the truth or lie, we need to repent.
We cannot preach both gospels and lie, even if it is only a white lie.
The more we speak even white lies, we may be not suitable to speak for God.
So we need to be careful of what we say, because we can sin by what we say.
We can be saved by what we say.
God encourages us to speak the truth.
God's people speak the truth and live forever.
God uses the persons who speak the truth in love.
God helps us to use kind words so that we may live with the Holy Spirit.
God helps us to speak the truth in the most loving way of Jesus.
When we speak the truth in love, we sense the presence of God.
Then we experience God’s power.
Then people know that we are God’s people.
Because there is power.
Through us God can transform people’s life.
Then we will be surprised by the way God works.
Then we will be able to rejoice with God.
Jesus, thank you for your words and guidance.
May you speak through us.
May you help us to be faithful disciples of you.
In your name, we pray.