Day 66 (Sat, Oct 18, 2014)

Jesus on Sacrifice and Persecution

50 total verses: Matthew 24:1-14; Mark 12:41-44; 13:1-13; Luke 21:1-19

Brief description of action taking place or point being made

260. The widow’s mite in Mark 12:41-44; Luke 21:1-4
261. Disciples admire the temple in Matthew 24:1-2; Mark 13:1-2; Luke 21:5-6
262. 4 fishermen question Jesus in Matthew 24:3; Mark 13:3-4; Luke 21:7
263. Jesus warns disciples of persecution in Matthew 24:4-14; Mark 13:5-13; Luke 21:8-19

General questions

1. What is your favorite verse or set of verses? Why?
2. Did you learn anything from the reading or find anything particularly cool? What?
3. Was there anything unclear in the passage that you have questions about? What are they?

Specific questions on this passage

After Completing the Bible Reading

Broader outline of each section of passage

Mark 12:41-44; Luke 21:1-4. Jesus drew his disciples’ attention to a widow who put two small coins into the temple treasury. Even though they had little worth, Jesus saw into her heart and into her situation — that this was a huge contribution, because it was all she had to live on.

Matthew 24:1-2; Mark 13:1-2; Luke 21:5-6. The disciples were admiring the beautiful stones of the temple, but Jesus told them that a time would come when they would be torn down.

Matthew 24:3; Mark 13:3-4; Luke 21:7. After Jesus told them about the temple stones, the disciples asked him when this would happen, and what the signs would be.

Matthew 24:4-14; Mark 13:5-13; Luke 21:8-19. In reply, Jesus says a number of things. First, that false Christs — or at least people falsely claiming to be sent by Jesus — will appear. Then many unsettling pieces of news about wars and earthquakes and other startling events will appear.

Then followers of Jesus will be arrested and persecuted and put on trial. This will be done with betrayal by even close friends and relatives. But Jesus tells them not to worry about their defense. The Holy Spirit will give them such wise words that they won’t be able to be refuted.

And Jesus says that before the end will come, the Gospel will be preached to all nations.

I have friends who interpret this passage to be speaking about the affliction of the Jewish people before the destruction of Jerusalem. But I wonder whether this passage, speaking of the persecution of followers of Jesus rather than Jewish people who rejected Jesus, challenges the plausibility of those arguments.

My favorite passage and other random thoughts

I like Jesus’s words in Mark 12:43-44: “‘I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on'” (NIV). I love it when Jesus sees what other people don’t — in this case, a poor lady that nobody else would note, in true devotion and love, giving all she had. And I love this act of sacrifice for the sake of loving God, which challenges me toward greater sacrifice and devotion.

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