READ Luke 21:14-19
After instructing the disciples on what will and what will not signify the coming seismic shift in salvation history, He gives them a command:
Settle it therefore in your minds not to meditate beforehand how to answer, for I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which none of your adversaries will be able to withstand or contradict.” (Luke 21:14-15)
If you have been in the church for any length of time you have likely heard a pastor or preacher say the pithy (and a bit dorky) saying, “If you ever see a ‘therefore’ in the text you need to ask yourself what it is there for.” It’s silly. But it’s also true. The word “therefore” in this passage points back to yesterday’s reading. Jesus is saying, “In light of these things, this is what you are to do…”
What does Jesus command the disciples – and us – to do in response? Pinpoint the primary verb in the sentence and copy it below:
Jesus commands the disciples and us today to “settle it … in [our] minds.” What a beautiful phrase. Other translations read, “Therefore, settle it in your hearts” (NASB). I imagine the truth of what Jesus is about to say nestling into my heart, resting into the crevices of my mind. My husband and I just returned home from a week away visiting family. When we got home the first thing we did was start the process of settling back in; we did laundry, put packed items away, and let ourselves and our items settle into their permanent places. In a poetic way, Jesus instructs the disciples and us to take the truth He is teaching and allow it to settle into our hearts and minds, to make a home there and become permanent.
What is the truth Jesus instructs us to embrace in this way?
We are to settle into our minds a confidence that in our time of need He will provide every word we could need. Jesus promises His disciples that He Himself will provide an answer for their accusers – one that they will not be able to refute.
This might seem like a strange truth for the disciples to allow to “settle … in [their] minds,” but embedded within this command is a bigger promise: the Spirit of God is coming! We must remember that as Jesus speaks these words that only a select few had been filled with God’s Spirit. Within this command is Jesus’ assurance to them that the Spirit of God will come to be with them, giving them every word they will need, exactly when they need it.
This is a confidence the disciples will need in the coming days. You and I know the story, and we know that their entire world is about to be upended in the arrest and crucifixion of their Friend, Jesus. But as followers of Jesus, when our whole world is upended we can have this confidence: He is with us. Whether in the chaos of today or the chaos that is sure to come, we hold tight to His promise that He is with us.
Spend some time thanking God that all who are in Christ have His Spirit dwelling within them. Thank Him for His promise to provide every word Christians need in the last days. If the description of the last days frightens you, talk to God about it. Ask Him to settle into your heart the confidence that He is with you always.