Inevitable Trial and Unfailing Resources
Luke 21:14-19
Settle it therefore in your hearts, not to meditate before what you shall answer:…

Here we have one more illustration of the faithfulness of Jesus Christ toward his apostles. So far was he from encouraging in them the thought that their path would be one of easy conquest and delightful possession, that he was frequently warning them of a contrary experience. It was not his fault if they failed to anticipate hardship and suffering in the neat' future; he told them plainly that his service meant the cross, with all its pain and shame. In reference to the apostles of our Lord, we have here -

I. THE SEVERITY OF THE TRIALS THAT WERE BEFORE THEM. Jesus Christ had already indicated the fact that fidelity to his cause would entail severe loss and trial; here he goes into detail. He says that it will include:

1. General execration. They would be "hated of all men." This is a trial of no small severity; to move among men as if we were unworthy of their fellowship; to be condemned, to be despised, to be shunned by all men; to be the object of universal reprobation; - this is a blow which, if it "breaks no bones," cuts into the spirit and wounds the heart with a deep injury. Fidelity to their Master and to their mission would entail this.

2. Desertion and treachery on the part of their own friends and kindred. (Ver. 16.) Very few sorrows can be more piercing, more intolerable, than desertion by our own family, than betrayal by our dearest friends; it is the last and worst calamity when "our own familiar friend lifts up his heel against us." Those who abandoned the old faith, or rather the Pharisaic version of it, and who followed Christ had to be prepared for this domestic and social sorrow.

3. Death. (Ver. 16.)


1. Everything they suffered would be endured for the sake of Jesus Christ; all would be "for my Name's sake" (ver. 17). We know how the thought that they were experiencing wrong and undergoing shame for Christ's sake could not only alleviate, not only dissipate sorrow, but even turn it into joy (see Acts 5:41; Philippians 1:29). To suffer for Christ's sake could give a thrill of sacred joy such as no pleasures could possibly afford.

2. They would have the shield of the Master's power (ver. 18). Not a hair of their head should perish until he allowed it. That mighty Friend who had kept them in perfect safety, though enemies were many and fierce, would be as near to them as ever. His presence would attend them, and no shaft should touch them which he did not wish to hurt them.

3. They should have the advantage of his animating Spirit (vers. 14, 15). Whenever wisdom or utterance should he needed, the Spirit of Christ would put thoughts into their mind and words into their lips. His animating power should be upon them, should dwell within them.

4. They should triumph in the end; not, indeed, by martial victories, but by unyielding loyalty. "In patience" (in persistency in the right course) "they would possess their souls." Losing their life in noble martyrdom, they would save it (ch. 9:24); loving their life, they would lose it; but "hating their life in this world, they would keep it unto. life eternal" (John 12:25). The bright promise of an unfading crown might cheer them on their way, and help them to pursue without flagging the path of devoted loyalty.


1. Similar trials await the faithful now. The dislike, the aversion, the opposition, of some, if not the active and strong hatred of all; the opposition, perhaps quiet enough, and yet keen and injurious enough, of our own friends or relatives; loss, struggle, suffering, if not fatal consequences of enmity. Downright loyalty to Jesus Christ, tenacity and intensity of conviction, usually carry persecution and trial with them.

2. We have the same resources the apostles had.

(1) The constant, sustaining, inspiring sense that we are enduring all for Christ our Savior - for him who suffered all things for us.

(2) His protecting care.

(3) His indwelling, upholding Spirit.

(4) The strong assurance that he will cause us to triumph, that he will help us to be faithful unto death, and will then give us the crown of life; that by "patient continuance in well-doing" (patience, perseverance) we. shall have "eternal life" (shall possess our souls). - C.

Parallel Verses
KJV: Settle it therefore in your hearts, not to meditate before what ye shall answer:

WEB: Settle it therefore in your hearts not to meditate beforehand how to answer,

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