We are entering the Sunday’s after Trinity and the altar colors in the churches are green. We cycle through the life of Jesus and the Green Season goes through the life of his followers and those who hear the voice of their “Good shepherd”. The next few Sundays are interesting to me because we are told by Jesus himself how strange the Gospel is to sinful human beings. He tells his disciples to proclaim the coming of the Kingdom of God and that they are to heal the sick, make the blind see and the lame walk, let the deaf hear and cast out demons and then he tells them the results of their work. It will disrupt families and cause divisions and people will hate them and persecute them (Matthew 10). He sends them out like “sheep among wolves” yet promises that they who endure to the end will be saved.
Jesus says to pray that there be workers in the harvest field and he tells the disciple that the harvesting will be dangerous and difficult but he promises that the ones who endure to the end will be saved. “The last book of the New Testament contains a sevenfold echo of this promise of Jesus in the words of the exalted Christ to the afflicted seven churches, and we can find there the fullest and most colorful commentary on the words “will be saved.” The steadfast endurer, the conqueror in the conflict, shall be saved: He shall eat of the tree of life in the paradise of God (Rev. 2:7). He shall not be hurt by the second, the eternal, death (Rev. 2:11). The “hidden manna” of the last Exodus of the redeemed people of God shall be his to eat (Rev. 2:17). He shall live and reign with the Christ (Rev. 2: 26,27). He shall be clad in the white garments of the victor. His name shall be in the book of life, for the Christ will confess him before the Father (Rev. 3:5). He shall have as his name the “new name” of Christ Himself (Rev. 3:12) and shall share the throne of the Christ, the very throne of God: “He who conquers, I will grant him to sit with Me on My throne, as I Myself conquered and sat down with My Father on His throne.” (Rev. 3:21) Martin Franzmann