Luke 21:13
And it shall turn to you for a testimony.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(13) It shall turn to you for a testimony.—There are but two writers in the New Testament who use the verb (literally, to come out) in this figurative sense. St. Luke is one, and the other is St. Paul, in a passage so closely parallel to this as to read almost like an echo of it (Philippians 1:19). The “testimony” is defined by Mark 13:9, as being borne to the kings and rulers before whom the disciples were to stand.

Luke 21:13-19. It shall turn to you for a testimony — The persecutions which you suffer shall become a glorious proof both of your innocence and of their guilt in rejecting the gospel. Settle it, therefore, in your hearts, &c. — As the Holy Ghost will assist you in your defences, let it be a fixed point with you, not to meditate before what ye shall answer. See on Matthew 10:19, and Mark 13:11. I will give you a mouth and wisdom, &c. — “I will suggest to you such sentiments, and enable you to deliver them with such eloquence, that your defences shall be unanswerable; and your adversaries shall be struck with them, especially when they find by your manner that you have spoken without premeditation.” Of the fulfilment of this promise, we have evident examples in the defences made by the proto- martyr, Stephen, and by the Apostle Paul, especially before King Agrippa and the Roman governors. But there is no need to insist upon particulars. The prevalency of the gospel, wherever it was preached, demonstrates, beyond all doubt, that the defences made by the preachers thereof were unanswerable. Ye shall be betrayed by parents and brethren, &c. — See on Matthew 10:22, and Mark 13:12-13. There shall not a hair of your head perish — A proverbial expression denoting absolute safety. The special providence of God shall watch over you for your preservation, and you shall not suffer before the time appointed by God, nor without a full reward. But the promise seems to refer especially to their preservation during the siege of Jerusalem; of which, see on Luke 21:20. Thus Jesus encouraged all to steadfastness in the midst of the fiery trial that was to try them. In patience possess ye your souls — Be calm and serene, masters of yourselves, and superior to all irrational and disquieting passions. By keeping the government of your spirits, you will both avoid much misery, and guard the better against all dangers.21:5-28 With much curiosity those about Christ ask as to the time when the great desolation should be. He answers with clearness and fulness, as far as was necessary to teach them their duty; for all knowledge is desirable as far as it is in order to practice. Though spiritual judgements are the most common in gospel times, yet God makes use of temporal judgments also. Christ tells them what hard things they should suffer for his name's sake, and encourages them to bear up under their trials, and to go on in their work, notwithstanding the opposition they would meet with. God will stand by you, and own you, and assist you. This was remarkably fulfilled after the pouring out of the Spirit, by whom Christ gave his disciples wisdom and utterance. Though we may be losers for Christ, we shall not, we cannot be losers by him, in the end. It is our duty and interest at all times, especially in perilous, trying times, to secure the safety of our own souls. It is by Christian patience we keep possession of our own souls, and keep out all those impressions which would put us out of temper. We may view the prophecy before us much as those Old Testament prophecies, which, together with their great object, embrace, or glance at some nearer object of importance to the church. Having given an idea of the times for about thirty-eight years next to come, Christ shows what all those things would end in, namely, the destruction of Jerusalem, and the utter dispersion of the Jewish nation; which would be a type and figure of Christ's second coming. The scattered Jews around us preach the truth of Christianity; and prove, that though heaven and earth shall pass away, the words of Jesus shall not pass away. They also remind us to pray for those times when neither the real, nor the spiritual Jerusalem, shall any longer be trodden down by the Gentiles, and when both Jews and Gentiles shall be turned to the Lord. When Christ came to destroy the Jews, he came to redeem the Christians that were persecuted and oppressed by them; and then had the churches rest. When he comes to judge the world, he will redeem all that are his from their troubles. So fully did the Divine judgements come upon the Jews, that their city is set as an example before us, to show that sins will not pass unpunished; and that the terrors of the Lord, and his threatenings against impenitent sinners, will all come to pass, even as his word was true, and his wrath great upon Jerusalem.Synagogues, and into prisons - See the notes at Mark 13:9-10.13. for a testimony—an opportunity of bearing testimony. That is, your persecution shall turn to you for a testimony: for a testimony against your adversaries; so as they themselves shall be brought by your confession of me to own me as the true Messiah; and their cruelty, which they mask under the vizor of religion, shall be openly detected, and it shall at last appear to all the world, that the judgments of God are just, for the cruelty they have exercised upon you. And to you it shall be for a testimony; you shall have a more ampler occasion of testifying, both before kings and great men, that I am the true Messiah. Your faith, patience, and constancy shall be made more manifest; you shall also testify that my kingdom is not of this world, and that my disciples care not to expect a terrene felicity. They shall also be a testimony to you, that you expect not your portion and felicity in this, but in another life. And it shall turn to you for a testimony. By this means they would have an opportunity of leaving their testimony for Christ before kings and rulers; and what they should meet with from them, would be a means of strengthening and confirming them in the truths of the Gospel; and be a proof and evidence to them of the certainty of the above things Christ had said should be accomplished; as well as be for a testimony against the rulers and governors, Jews, and Gentiles, before whom they should be convened; see Matthew 10:18. And it shall turn to you for {c} a testimony.

(c) This will be the result of your troubles and afflictions: they will be witnesses both before God and man of the treacherous and cruel dealing of your enemies, as well as of your steadfastness: A noble saying, that the afflictions of the godly and holy men pertain to the witness of the truth.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Luke 21:13. ἀποβήσεται, it will turn out; as in Php 1:19.—ὑμῖν εἰς μαρτύριον, for a testimony to you = to your credit or honour; = εἰς μαρτυρίου δόξαν, Theophy. So also Bleek. J. Weiss (Meyer), following Baur and Hilgenfeld, renders: it will result in your martyrdom. This meaning is kindred to that of Theophy., but can hardly be intended here (Schanz). The idea belongs to a later time, and the sense is scarcely consistent with Luke 21:18.13. for a testimony] See Mark 13:9. “In nothing terrified by your adversaries, which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation,” Php 1:28. “A manifest token of the righteous judgment of God,” 2 Thessalonians 1:5.Luke 21:13. Ἀποβήσεται, it shall turn out) with salvation as its issue: Php 1:19 [“This shall turn to my salvation”].—ὑμῖν, to you) In Mark, ch. Luke 13:9, it is αὐτοῖς, “a testimony to [‘against’] them.” The apostles were about to discharge the function of a testimony in relation to them.It shall turn (ἀποβήσεται)

Lit., turn out; issue.

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