November 23, 2016 - Assurance

Jesus said to the crowd:
“They will seize and persecute you,
they will hand you over to the synagogues and to prisons,
and they will have you led before kings and governors
because of my name.
It will lead to your giving testimony.
Remember, you are not to prepare your defense beforehand,
for I myself shall give you a wisdom in speaking
that all your adversaries will be powerless to resist or refute.
You will even be handed over by parents,
brothers, relatives, and friends,
and they will put some of you to death.
You will be hated by all because of my name,
but not a hair on your head will be destroyed.
By your perseverance you will secure your lives.”

Luke 21:12-19

In this passage, Jesus predicts that some Christians will be executed.  In the very next breath, though, he indicates that not a hair on their heads will be destroyed.  Is this double-talk? Clearly, Jesus does not guaranty we magically will not suffer.  In fact, he virtually guarantees that we will.  But at the same time he offers some other assurance.   

Buddhism suggests that we can end suffering by ending our attachment to impermanent things.  Maybe Jesus is suggesting something similar: that we are happiest when we stop investing in that which does not satisfy and instead develop our relationship to the divine and eternal.