Apr 23 2013 - Luke 21:29-22:13 – My words will not pass away
There are few things so unappetising and indigestible as to have to eat your own words. You have made some grand statement of what you will do and, in the end, you fail to do it. You have taken great joy in setting someone right on a particular point only to find out that they were right all along and you were quite wrong. You have been caught out. Your words have been shown to be mere hot air.
Given our propensity to get tripped up by our own words, what kind of person would dare to say, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away”? None but Jesus (Luke 21:33). He can say such things because he is the Word incarnate. He is the one through whom all things were created at the beginning. He is the one by whom all things are sustained. He is the one who can command the wind and waves and they obey him. He is the one who can give sight to the blind, heal the sick and raise the dead by a simple word. He is the one who taught like no other; his words carry weight and authority. His word preceded the formation of heavens and earth and it will outlast this present creation.
Jesus speaks these words to assure the disciples that his kingdom will come. They will soon see him dragged off to trial and crucifixion; but his kingdom will come. They can do nothing to him that he has not foreseen and spoken of often. Indeed, Jesus says, “Look at the fig tree, and all the trees. As soon as they come out in leaf, you see for yourselves and know that the summer is already near. So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that the kingdom of God is near. Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all has taken place” (21:29-32). The very things that they will witness in the next few days will lay the foundation of his kingdom that will never pass away.
Soon they will hear his word of command to take the good news concerning him into all the world and, as they obey, they will face opposition, beatings and death – but his kingdom must come. This small Jewish sect will capture the attention of the Mediterranean world as thousands come to acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord – for his kingdom must come. The Gospel will be preached in every nation and people from every race and language will acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord – for his kingdom must come.
And one day, this present heavens and earth will pass away. At the power of his word, the word through which they were created, they will be rolled up and thrown aside to be replaced by a new heavens and a new earth, and every knee shall bow to him and acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father – for his kingdom shall come.
There is power in the words of Jesus because there is power in the person of Jesus. He is the word made flesh. His words accomplish his purpose. His declaration of the kingdom gives flesh to the kingdom, it brings it into being, it substantiates the kingdom; “No one ever spoke like this man.”
Living God, I marvel at the words of the Lord Jesus. His words have given me life. Help me to hear his words and to know their continuing power at work in my life. Through the Spirit of the risen Saviour may these words become enfleshed in me and repeated in everything I say and do. So may your kingdom come and your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.