Luke’s Message of Warning
The warning message of Luke resonates with people today. He wrote in a time of turmoil just prior to the time when the temple was to be destroyed. It was to be a destruction so complete that not one stone would be left upon another. The devastation would be heralded by a series of world events, national and ethnic conflicts, earthquake and famine. And though the world continues to experience these things the “end” has not come. The Messiah has not returned — not yet! So Luke’s admonition to believers was that “in your patience you will preserve your soul.” What did Luke mean? And what is God’s message for us, in our time.
A Consistent Message
Mark and Matthew, two other gospel writers, echoed Luke’s message in their advice to keep faith through patient endurance until the end. Paul took up the same refrain in encouraging the brethren to patiently continue to do good. He used the analogy of a soldier resolutely exercising patient persistence, and overcoming the inclination to weakness or laziness. The apostle John wrote of the patient loving care of the true shepherd, in contrast to the hireling who flees at the first sign of trouble.
Paul’s Example of Patient Endurance
Perhaps in penning his admonition, in your patience you will preserve your soul, Luke had Paul in mind.
Luke wrote around the time that Paul had faced murderous mobs of Jews, imprisonment, and repeated appeals to Roman civil authorities. On 3 occasions he was required to present his defence and eventually he was transported to Rome to appeal to Caesar. Through all of these trials he was an example to the brethren of patient endurance. Paul’s fearless confidence in spite of shipwreck, stoning, and other trials was grounded in an uncompromising patience. So will we heed the advice of scriptures and understand the vital importance of patience in the Christian journey.