But before all this they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the churches and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors for my name’s sake. This will be your opportunity to bear witness. Settle it therefore in your minds not to meditate beforehand how to answer, for I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which none of your adversaries will be able to withstand or contradict. You will be delivered up even by parents and brothers and relatives and friends, and some of you they will put to death. You will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But not a hair of your head will perish. By your endurance you will gain your lives. (Luke 21:12–19, ESV)
One word in the above verses has been changed. Can you guess which one it is? And does it make a difference in how you think? Why or why not?
The word that was changed is “synagogue” to “churches.” According to Strong’s, the Greek word sunagoge (soon-ah-go-gay 4864) was also used to describe an assembly of Christians. The meaning is not changed, but the understanding is surprised. Are you ready? Who will turn you in to the church, thinking they are doing God a favor? Will it be a close relative? A dear friend?
“I have said all these things to you to keep you from falling away. They will put you out of the synagogues. Indeed, the hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God. And they will do these things because they have not known the Father, nor me. But I have said these things to you, that when their hour comes you may remember that I told them to you. “I did not say these things to you from the beginning, because I was with you. (John 16:1–4, ESV)