After a long excursus full of terrifying images and confusing illustrations Jesus tells the disciples that when they see all these things they are to stand up straight! When all these signs are marked on the horizon of history they are to lift up their heads because their redemption is at hand! The great hope of the Christian faith will be fully and finally realized when our King Jesus comes again!
The original Greek verb for “stand up” is ἀνακύπτω. It is unique to Luke, the author, and it’s used one other place in the book of Luke.
Read Luke 13:10-17. As you read, try to identify where this verb is used.
The Greek verb ἀνακύπτω is the word Luke uses to tell the disciples to stand up in Luke 21, and the verb he uses to describe the woman (whom Jesus restores) who was bent over so that she could not stand up. By tying these narratives together with this unique Greek verb, he is giving us a picture of the posture Christians can have at the coming of Christ. When our redemption draws near, despite all the frightening signs that indicate “the end” is near, believers are to jump up, stand up straight, just like the woman restored by Christ.
James R. Edwards, a commentator on the book of Luke, puts it this way: “At the return of Christ, believers are to behave as the woman healed by Christ: they are to heave off the weight of sin and oppression, stand erect, and receive Christ as their heavenly liberator.” (Edwards, The Gospel According to Luke)
I do not want to make light of the darkness of the days that Jesus is describing. They are rightfully and properly dark. But I do want to remind us that they are not dark without hope. In the midst of the deepest suffering and in the face of horrendous fears we have the great hope that our God will come again. The days will be dark, yes; but the Light is sure to come.
Stand up straight, Christian! Your hope is on the horizon!
Spend some time considering God’s love for His creation – thank Him. Praise Him that when all seems dark we can have hope that the Light of the World is sure to come for us.