Today I was in Jerusalem visiting one of our daughters and also doing some work. Right now it is 57 degrees. Now I am at a cafe using their internet and waiting for Baruch. He is teaching at a couple of places with a tour group and then has a meeting. We will then go home together.
Last night was our study in Luke at the study center. We studied Luke 21. Baruch pointed out that beginning in verse 8 and following, when Yeshua is speaking of the end times, He speaks in the second person: “Take heed that you not be deceived”, “But when you hear of wars and commotions”, “But before these things they will lay their hands on you“, etc.
What this tells us as believers is that we will not escape these events and trials. Many people do not teach that believers will go through persecution and difficult times. They just want to paint a rosy picture that G-d will support their dreams and happiness. They do not teach that G-d has a plan for the world which will bring about His Kingdom.
Another important point Baruch brought out was that the word “synagogues” in verse 12 is not a Bet Knesset (synagogue) as we think of one today. The word synagogue is a Greek word which just means assembly. In the time of Yeshua, the Bet HaMikdash (the Temple in Jerusalem) was standing. Yet, there were synagogues. What were they? They were meeting places where there was a market on Mondays and Thursdays. Because all the people would assemble there on those days, coming in from the countryside, those were the days that the people would also assemble to hear the Torah read. So in actuality, a synagogue was simply a meeting place which was owned by the government.
What Yeshua is teaching in this passage is that believers will be brought before kings and rulers for His Name’s sake. This passage is not teaching that believers will be brought into modern-day synagogues as we think of them in order to be persecuted.
As you can see, we are blessed by these studies on Saturday nights.