Holy Week: Surrendering our Will to this Will

Tuesday + Lesser Day 2022 + Luke 21:10-19

I’m reading from the ESV Translation, and in this text the word “will” shows up 13 times and among the 13 “wills” the “will” of verse 13 is the most important.

The first 5 times are about what will happen outside the disciples realm of control (vs. 10-12).

  • Nation will rise against nation.
  • There will be earthquakes.
  • There will be terror and signs.
  • “They” will lay hands on you and put you in prison.
  • You will be brought before kings.

Now doomsday preppers and end times obessors would be pulling for me to focus on the first 3 about wars, earthquakes and signs. For some reason this seems to sell books and freak people out about what’s happening in the world.

Curious that every generation from the time Jesus said these words has proven these words to be true – wars, quakes, and signs are abundant in every generation. Yet, every generation thinks, “this is it! It’s bad, I’ve never seen it this bad!” 

Ahh, “bless our hearts” in the southern way. How limited our history, how confining our memory.

Okay, enough about that, because the next will, the “6th will” is the one to focus on.

This is the will of what the disciples are to do. In vs. 13 Jesus says, “This will be your opportunity to bear witness.” When the first 5 wills occur, the disciples will have an opportunity.

In other words, Jesus helps his disciples see something that we as disciples still see today, things will get ugly, creation will be in disarray, people will hurt others, you will be thrown in jail for Jesus’ name sake. These things happen, however, not for us to freak out or stress out, but they are opportunities for disciples of Jesus Christ to bear witness to Jesus Christ. 

Dr. Luke wrote both the Gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles and in Acts, it’s fleshed out for us to see that no matter what the chaos or condition of our lives or the world – the clarion call of disciples remains the same, we are to be witness bearers of the story of Jesus.

Peter, in the first post Pentecost story, testifies (bears witness) to the story of Jesus. It continues through the book of Acts, in the early church, throughout the Medieval Period, through the colonization of America and still today in 2022, the disciples of Jesus Christ bear witness to the story of Jesus Christ.

Notice too, how Jesus says, “this will be your opportunity” (vs. 13). Is this how you view your life, is this how you view today…as an opportunity? Things are going to happen outside of our control, unfair, unjust, down right not okay things are going to happen. This groaning creation will continue to groan with earthquakes and tremors. Self absorbed, demonic folks will start wars. So what is our response? To try to figure out why and relentlessly lie to ourselves that everything happens for a reason? Or perhaps we could lean into the truth that things happen, therefore we bear witness to the story of Jesus. Because at the end of the day, the answer to all life’s questions are answered in the story of Jesus.

Paul, in Ephesians 5:15-16, said that the days are evil so we should be wise and make the most of every opportunity. Saints, your life is an opportunity to bear witness to the world of Jesus Christ. 

So today, this Tuesday Lesser Day of Holy Week 2022, let’s not merely be hearers of the word, let’s be doers (James 1:22).

Oh and in case you were wondering, the 7th will is about what God will do. The 8th is about what our adversaries will not be able to do. The 9th-11th wills are about just how brutal it will be for us followers of Jesus and then the final two are the wills of promise, in that we will not perish and as we endure the brutality of a harsh creation filled with hate and hurt, we will gain our lives.

I pray today you will gain your life by your life being wrapped up bearing witness to the story of Jesus Christ. I pray you surrender your will to the will of verse 13, “this will be your opportunity.” Because today, dear brothers and sisters is an opportunity.

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