But stay awake at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.”” (Luke 21:36, ESV)

Jesus to the disciples and his other followers.  He is telling them to be alert for the coming disaster. There is a two-part fulfillment of what Jesus said to his disciples here.  Jerusalem was conquered in 70 A.D. when Titus broke through the walls of Jerusalem.  Many of the city were killed, some during the siege by starvation, some by the Romans as they ran amok in the city; others were carried off into captivity.  There also seems to be a far-reaching fulfillment of this prophecy that hasn’t taken place yet.  The time in the future when “they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and with great glory.”

The crucial point here seems to be that there is an essential connection between “staying awake” and “praying.”  If we are to stay alert for signs of Christ’s return, we must be praying and specifically praying for strength to escape “all these things.”

If we truly believe Jesus’ prophecy here, we will both watch for his coming and praying that we will be able to endure the desolations that will take place before it so that we will be able “to stand before the Son of Man,” or as the GNB puts it:

Be on the alert and pray always that you will have the strength to go safely through all those things that will happen and to stand before the Son of Man.”” (Luke 21:36, GNB)

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