Luke 21

1 And he looked up and saw the rich casting their gifts into the treasury.
2 And he saw also a certain poor widow casting two mites in there.
3 And he said, Of a truth I say unto you that this poor widow has cast in more than they all;
4 for all these have of their abundance cast in unto the offerings of God, but she out of her poverty has cast in all the living that she had.
5 And as some spoke of the temple, how it was adorned with goodly stones and gifts, he said,
6 As for these things which ye behold, the days will come in which there shall not be left one stone upon another that shall not be thrown down.
7 And they asked him, saying, Master, but when shall these things be? and what sign will there be when these things shall begin to come to pass?
8 Then he said, Take heed that ye not be deceived, for many shall come in my name, saying, I am; and the time draws near; therefore, go ye not after them.
9 But when ye shall hear of wars and seditions, be not terrified; for these things must first come to pass, but the end is not yet.
10 Then he said unto them, Gentiles shall rise against Gentiles, and kingdom against kingdom;
11 and there shall be great earthquakes in different places and famines and pestilences, and there shall be fearful sights and great signs from heaven.
12 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 governors for my name’s sake.
13 And it shall turn out to you for a testimony.
14 Settle it therefore in your hearts not to meditate before what ye shall answer;
15 for I will give you a mouth and wisdom which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist.
16 And ye shall be betrayed both by parents and brethren and kinsfolk and friends, and some of you they shall cause to be put to death.
17 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake.
18 But not a hair of your head shall perish.
19 In your patience ye shall possess your souls.
20 And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is near.
21 Then let those who are in Judaea flee to the mountains, and let those who are in the midst of it depart out, and let not those that are in the country enter thereinto.
22 For these are days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.
23 But woe unto those that are with child and to those that give suck in those days! For there shall be great distress in the land and wrath upon this people.
24 And they shall fall by the edge of the sword and shall be led away captive into all nations, and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.
25 Then there shall be signs in the sun and in the moon and in the stars, and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring;
26 men’s hearts failing them for fear and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth; for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.
27 And then they shall see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.
28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up and lift up your heads, for your redemption draws near.
29 And he spoke unto them a parable: Behold the fig tree and all the trees;
30 when they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now near at hand.
31 So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is near at hand.
32 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away until all is fulfilled.
33 The heaven and the earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.
34 And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with excess and drunkenness and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares.
35 For as a snare it shall come on all those that dwell on the face of the whole earth.
36 Watch ye therefore and pray always that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass and to stand before the Son of man.
37 And in the daytime he was teaching in the temple, and at night he went out and abode in the mount that is called the mount of Olives.
38 And all the people came unto him early in the morning to hear him in the temple.

Luke 21 Commentary

Chapter 21

Christ commends a poor widow. (1-4) His prophecy. (5-28) Christ exhorts to watchfulness. (29-38)

Verses 1-4 From the offering of this poor widow, learn that what we rightly give for the relief of the poor, and the support of God's worship, is given unto God; and our Saviour sees with pleasure whatever we have in our hearts to give for the relief of his members, or for his service. Blessed Lord! the poorest of thy servants have two mites, they have a soul and a body; persuade and enable us to offer both unto thee; how happy shall we be in thine accepting of them!

Verses 5-28 With much curiosity those about Christ ask as to the time when the great desolation should be. He answers with clearness and fulness, as far as was necessary to teach them their duty; for all knowledge is desirable as far as it is in order to practice. Though spiritual judgements are the most common in gospel times, yet God makes use of temporal judgments also. Christ tells them what hard things they should suffer for his name's sake, and encourages them to bear up under their trials, and to go on in their work, notwithstanding the opposition they would meet with. God will stand by you, and own you, and assist you. This was remarkably fulfilled after the pouring out of the Spirit, by whom Christ gave his disciples wisdom and utterance. Though we may be losers for Christ, we shall not, we cannot be losers by him, in the end. It is our duty and interest at all times, especially in perilous, trying times, to secure the safety of our own souls. It is by Christian patience we keep possession of our own souls, and keep out all those impressions which would put us out of temper. We may view the prophecy before us much as those Old Testament prophecies, which, together with their great object, embrace, or glance at some nearer object of importance to the church. Having given an idea of the times for about thirty-eight years next to come, Christ shows what all those things would end in, namely, the destruction of Jerusalem, and the utter dispersion of the Jewish nation; which would be a type and figure of Christ's second coming. The scattered Jews around us preach the truth of Christianity; and prove, that though heaven and earth shall pass away, the words of Jesus shall not pass away. They also remind us to pray for those times when neither the real, nor the spiritual Jerusalem, shall any longer be trodden down by the Gentiles, and when both Jews and Gentiles shall be turned to the Lord. When Christ came to destroy the Jews, he came to redeem the Christians that were persecuted and oppressed by them; and then had the churches rest. When he comes to judge the world, he will redeem all that are his from their troubles. So fully did the Divine judgements come upon the Jews, that their city is set as an example before us, to show that sins will not pass unpunished; and that the terrors of the Lord, and his threatenings against impenitent sinners, will all come to pass, even as his word was true, and his wrath great upon Jerusalem.

Verses 29-38 Christ tells his disciples to observe the signs of the times, which they might judge by. He charges them to look upon the ruin of the Jewish nation as near. Yet this race and family of Abraham shall not be rooted out; it shall survive as a nation, and be found as prophesied, when the Son of man shall be revealed. He cautions them against being secure and sensual. This command is given to all Christ's disciples, Take heed to yourselves, that ye be not overpowered by temptations, nor betrayed by your own corruptions. We cannot be safe, if we are carnally secure. Our danger is, lest the day of death and of judgment should come upon us when we are not prepared. Lest, when we are called to meet our Lord, that be the furthest from our thoughts, which ought to be nearest our hearts. For so it will come upon the most of men, who dwell upon the earth, and mind earthly things only, and have no converse with heaven. It will be a terror and a destruction to them. Here see what should be our aim, that we may be accounted worthy to escape all those things; that when the judgements of God are abroad, we may not be in the common calamity, or it may not be that to us which it is to others. Do you ask how you may be found worthy to stand before Christ at that day? Those who never yet sought Christ, let them now go unto him; those who never yet were humbled for their sins, let them now begin; those who have already begun, let them go forward and be kept humbled. Watch therefore, and pray always. Watch against sin; watch in every duty, and make the most of every opportunity to do good. Pray always: those shall be accounted worthy to live a life of praise in the other world, who live a life of prayer in this world. May we begin, employ, and conclude each day attending to Christ's word, obeying his precepts, and following his example, that whenever he comes we may be found watching.

Luke 21 Commentaries

The Jubilee Bible

(from the Scriptures of the Reformation)

edited by Russell M. Stendal

Copyright © 2000, 2001, 2010