Summary of passage: Jesus is still instructing the disciples and he tells them to be wary of men who will hand them over for their work but do not worry: for the Holy Spirit will instruct you on what to say when you are captured.
Family members will betray one another all because of Jesus but if you stand firm, you will be saved. Flee to another city, which will need to hear the Good News if you are persecuted. No one is above another. Do not be afraid for your soul is saved and God is in charge. Everything will be revealed in time for you are worth more to me than two sparrows.
8a) Personal Question. My answer: “At that time” (verse 19) and “The Spirit of the the Father speaking through you” (verse 20) could be referring to after Pentecost when the disciples and all believers received the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:4)
“Witnesses…to the Gentiles” (verse 18) since Jesus has not sent them out to the Gentiles yet.
“You will not finish going through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes” (verse 23) Scholars believe this refers to the judgment on Judea in 70 AD when the Romans sacked Jerusalem and burned the temple to the ground and not referring to Jesus’ Second Coming for this would clearly not fulfill prophesy. Still, this is almost 40 years in the future that Jesus is talking about.
b) Personal Question. My answer: The time after Jesus’ death as chronicled in Acts and Romans where the disciples spread the Good News and establish the early church. First century AD.
c) Personal Question. My answer: Scholars believe this refers to the judgment on Judea in 70 AD when the Romans sacked Jerusalem and burned the temple to the ground and not referring to Jesus’ Second Coming for this would clearly not fulfill prophesy. This event did happen BEFORE the gospel came to EVERY city in Israel.
The sacking of Jerusalem was indeed worse than the judgment of Sodom and Gomorrah (verse 15).
Others believe this refers to Jesus’ second coming. Logically, the disciples (all Christians) will not finish their work before Jesus comes again for God’s work is never finished until every person on this planet is converted. But this is very broad. If we just consider Israel and just the 12 disciples, then the former interpretation must be correct.
9a) Betrayal by men who will hand them over to authorities and flog them. They will be brought before governors and kings as witnesses. They will be arrested. They will be hated and persecuted and forced to flee.
b) Prominently in the Middle East, China, and other Muslim-dominated or communist countries. Christians face difficulties everywhere in the world just in varying degrees.
c) Persecution often produces growth in Christianity. The scattering of Christians leads to them going to areas they normally wouldn’t and converting others in those areas. Other ethnic groups and cultures are exposed to Jesus and are thus converted. It’s how any religion spreads. Persecution draws attention and if unjust, draws sympathizers.
10a) Verse 19 “…do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say”
Verse 26 “..do not be afraid” for what is hidden will be exposed and verse 28 “Do not be afraid” of bodily death for the soul will live. Rather be afraid of God who has the power to destroy your soul in Hell.
Verse 31 “…don’t be afraid” for you are worth more than many sparrows (two sparrows are worth a penny).
b) The concealed or hidden things is whether people have earned eternal salvation or eternal damnation which will be revealed at Jesus’ Second Coming where God will judge through Jesus men’s secrets. We will know all when that day comes. Jesus as God’s Son was meant to be proclaimed from the roofs. If you accept Him, you will have eternal life and live with him in glory.
c) Personal Question. My answer: Do not worry in general because God will guide me and my husband down the right path. Be still and know it to be true. Work towards Him always.
Conclusions: Admittedly, I was not feeling this lesson. I didn’t want to do it. I did half and then stopped when I came to question 10b where I had to look up all those verses. It was just too much. To me, these lessons are getting harder and harder and more time consuming. Maybe I’m the only one…
Lesson for you all: It’s okay not to finish a lesson for that day. It’s okay to put it down and come back to it when your mind and heart are right. It’s even okay not to finish at all and just leave it. In time, God will speak to you about it.
This lesson was challenging. I definitely needed a commentary to decipher Jesus’ words today.
I liked the lesson BSF did not focus on: how a student is not above his teacher nor a servant above his master. This speaks to our pride and how we are all equal especially in God’s eyes. No one is better or less. Thus, we should not expect to be treated better than Jesus was. It is enough to be like Jesus. My goal anyways!