Mark hath this thus, Mar_13:9, But take heed to yourselves: for they shall deliver you up to councils; and in the synagogues ye shall be beaten: and ye shall be brought before rulers and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them. Luke saith, Luk_21:12,13, But before all these, they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues, and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for my name’s sake. And it shall turn to you for a testimony. Our Saviour, knowing that his disciples’ minds still ran upon a secular kingdom, here calls off their thoughts by giving them a sign of his coming, an account of those persecutions and trials which they should undergo before his coming, either in his power to the destruction of the Jews, or in his glory at the last day: the afflictions specified are, a being hated of all nations, delivered up to councils, beating in the synagogues, casting into prisons, and being killed; all which happened to the disciples of Christ before the destruction of Jerusalem. The Christians were counted a sect every where spoken against, Act_28:22. Stephen was stoned, Act_7:59. James was killed with the sword, Act_12:2. Paul and Silas were imprisoned, Act_16:23. Paul five times received of the Jews forty stripes save one; he was thrice beaten with rods, once stoned, 2Co_11:24,25. He was brought before king Agrippa and Festus. Peter and John were called before the council, Act_4:7Act_5:21. So as all these things happened before the destruction of Jerusalem, and this may be interpreted as a sign of that great destruction; but not of that only, for the text saith,
ye shall be hated of all nations, which came to pass afterward, when Christianity was persecuted by heathens for three hundred years together. Mark saith, this should be done for a testimony against them, that is, the persecutors. Luke saith, it shall turn to you for a testimony. The persecutions of Christians are,
1. A testimony against the persecutors, of their ingratitude, and cruelty, and hatred to the name of Christ.
2. They are a testimony to the persecuted, of their faith, and patience, and courage, &c.