Luke 21:19

In Luke 21 Jesus answers the disciples’ questions about the timing of the destruction of the Temple and the signs that will
precede this event (verse 7). In answering this question Jesus widens His answer to refer to “the end” (verse 9). In Matthew it is
recorded that the disciples included a question about the “end of the age” (Matt 24:3), which it appears that Luke omitted. In His
answer Jesus describes some quite terrifying incidents that will take place, but in the middle of describing these things He makes
this statement: “By your patience possess your souls” (verse 19). This statement comes after Jesus told His followers that they
will be hated by everyone because of their allegiance to Jesus, “but not a hair of your head shall be lost” (verse 18). And it is
followed by a terrifying picture of armies attacking and surrounding Jerusalem (verse 20).

No one would like the prospect of being hated by everyone, but this is the picture that Jesus presents of the times that lie ahead
for His followers. But, as if this were not bad enough, the picture of a savage war and the siege of Jerusalem would strike terror
into many a soul. Both of these prospects are enough to cause fear and panic in many hearts. Yet, it is into this context that
Jesus says, “By your patience possess your souls”. So, what is Jesus intending for us to take from this statement? Our first
thought could be that of the British attitude of showing a stiff upper lip along with the gritting of teeth. But is this what Jesus

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