Weekly Bible Reflection
Luke: Signs of the Kingdom
Second Sunday before Advent
Text: Luke 21.5-19: "The Third Way"
Begin by using the Bible Study method as outlined
Have you taken part in a student demo, an industrial dispute or a civil protest? Or even been caught up in a major conflict? What did it feel like? Whose side were you on? And what impact did it have on you when it was all over?
A Window on the Text
When Luke wrote his gospel, some 30 (maybe even 40 or more) years after the death of Jesus, Judea was in revolt. This was wartime: the country had suffered for decades under the oppressive foreign occupation. Jerusalem would be destroyed by the Romans (ad 73). It was a major city. The Temple, built at great expense with heavy blocks of stone and richly decorated, seemed indestructible, yet it did not survive.
Jesus is warning his followers of the difficult times ahead and the need to be careful about taking sides. Neither those who supported the Romans nor those who resisted them represented the Kingdom of God. The risks were clear: Jesus spoke of persecution, imprisonment and betrayal, even death. For those who followed him there would be no alternative. This would be the only Way.
Responding as a community
- What challenges does your community face?
- Are the people involved speaking about fairness and justice to the weak and poor?
- Can you identify a way to speak the words of wisdom that Jesus speaks of in verse 15?
- What actions can you take?
- Pray for strength for those who speak out for their faith and are persecuted as a result.
- Pray for men and women in positions of power and authority
- An example of taking action on a current issue can be seen at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-somerset-11700917 where Bp Peter Price, a founder of New Way, speaks out about the dangers of rural poverty.