The Bible: The Power of Rebirth

The Persecution of Jesus’ Disciples

Reflection on the Gospel of the Wednesday
In The Thirty-Fourth Week Of Ordinary Time

 

Luke 21: 12-19

In the Old Testament, when we read about the Judges, we are presented by something that is called the Sin Cycle. It is a vicious circle the Israelites are in, just like their time in Egypt.

The Sin Cycle:

  • They are satisfied and contented, so they are only looking inward
  • There is no relationship with God, therefore they become distant from God
  • Hardships come their way
  • Since they do not know and are not acquainted with Yahweh, they look around and imitate those of other religions
  • As a Result – the writer of the Book says – A foreign power came and subjugated them and they suffered terribly.
  • Like when they were in slavery in Egypt, eventually they wakeup to their true God with whom they are supposed to be in a covenant with
  • They cry to Him – and Yahweh sends a saviour (like Moses) to save them
  • But these saviours themselves lack a relationship with Yahweh, except Samuel.
  • And they are not able to lead them to a proper worship/service of Yahweh.
  • After a time of satisfaction, they forget Yahweh, and the cycle restarts.

The World at large is part of such cycles, but there are no more saviours, because it needs to recognise the One True Saviour it rejected and crucified. It also needs to accept everything He gifts to them. He is not gifting peace and satisfaction according to worldly understanding. What he does offer us a relationship with God – physical and spiritual. Jesus’ followers give proof of this. We may look at all the persecution and harassment they faced, and think of it as undesirable, but the fact remains that they were not cowed by it, and looked it as a gift. A gift to God becoming real and physical to them.

The best example is the First Christian Martyr – Stephen, even as he was being stoned to death, he had God by His side. Hardships are there to make us super humans in Christ. And those who see this are amazed and desire the same thing. So do not shy away from reading this passage – it is not a warning, it is a footnote to hardship (in the world sense), that Jesus tells His disciples they need to be open to, for it paves a way for God to enter into our lives, and also into the lives of all those around.

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