Luke 21

The Widow's Gift

1 1And He looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury.
2 And He saw a poor widow putting in 2two small copper coins.
3 And He said, "Truly I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all of them;
4 for they all out of their surplus put into the offering; but she out of her poverty put in all that she had 3to live on."
5 4And while some were talking about the temple, that it was adorned with beautiful stones and votive gifts, He said,
6 "As for these things which you are looking at, the days will come in which 5there will not be left one stone upon another which will not be torn down."
7 They questioned Him, saying, "Teacher, when therefore will these things happen? And what will be the sign when these things are about to take place?"
8 And He said, "See to it that you are not misled; for many will come in My name, saying, '6I am He,' and, 'The time is near.' 7Do not go after them.
9 "When you hear of wars and disturbances, do not be terrified; for these things must take place first, but the end does not follow immediately."

Things to Come

10 Then He continued by saying to them, "Nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom,
11 and there will be great earthquakes, and in various places plagues and famines; and there will be terrors and great signs from heaven.
12 "But before all these things, 8they will lay their hands on you and will persecute you, delivering you to the synagogues and prisons, bringing you before kings and governors for My name's sake.
13 "9It will lead to an opportunity for your testimony.
14 "10So make up your minds not to prepare beforehand to defend yourselves;
15 for 11I will give you utterance and wisdom which none of your opponents will be able to resist or refute.
16 "But you will be betrayed even by parents and brothers and relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death,
17 and you will be hated by all because of My name.
18 "Yet 12not a hair of your head will perish.
19 "13By your endurance you will gain your lives.
20 "But when you see Jerusalem 14surrounded by armies, then recognize that her desolation is near.
21 "Then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains, and those who are in the midst of the city must leave, and 15those who are in the country must not enter the city;
22 because these are 16days of vengeance, so that all things which are written will be fulfilled.
23 "Woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days; for 17there will be great distress upon the land and wrath to this people;
24 and they will fall by 18the edge of the sword, and will be led captive into all the nations; and 19Jerusalem will be 20trampled under foot by the Gentiles until 21the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.

The Return of Christ

25 "There will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth dismay among nations, in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves,
26 men fainting from fear and the expectation of the things which are coming upon the world; for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.
27 "22Then they will see 23THE SON OF MAN COMING IN A CLOUD with power and great glory.
28 "But when these things begin to take place, straighten up and lift up your heads, because 24your redemption is drawing near."
29 Then He told them a parable: "Behold the fig tree and all the trees;
30 as soon * as they put forth leaves, you see it and 25know for yourselves that summer is now near.
31 "So you also, when you see these things happening, recognize that 26the kingdom of God is near.
32 "Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all things take place.
33 "27Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away.
34 "28Be on guard, so that your hearts will not be weighted down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of life, and that day will not come on you suddenly like a trap;
35 for it will come upon all those who dwell on the face of all the earth.
36 "But 29keep on the alert at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are about to take place, and to 30stand before the Son of Man."
37 Now during the day He was 31teaching in the temple, but 32at evening He would go out and spend the night on 33the mount that is called Olivet.
38 And all the people would get up 34early in the morning to come to Him in the temple to listen to Him.

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.

Cross References 34

  • 1. Luke 21:1-4: {Mark 12:41-44}
  • 2. Mark 12:42
  • 3. Mark 12:44
  • 4. Luke 21:5-36: {Matthew 24; Mark 13}
  • 5. Luke 19:44
  • 6. John 8:24
  • 7. Luke 17:23
  • 8. Luke 21:12-17: {Matthew 10:19-22; Mark 13:11-13}
  • 9. Philippians 1:12
  • 10. Luke 12:11
  • 11. Luke 12:12
  • 12. Matthew 10:30; Luke 12:7
  • 13. Matthew 10:22; Matthew 24:13; Romans 2:7; Romans 5:3; Hebrews 10:36; James 1:3; 2 Peter 1:6
  • 14. Luke 19:43
  • 15. Luke 17:31
  • 16. Isaiah 63:4; Daniel 9:24-27; Hosea 9:7
  • 17. Daniel 8:19; 1 Corinthians 7:26
  • 18. Genesis 34:26; Exodus 17:13; Hebrews 11:34
  • 19. Isaiah 63:18; Daniel 8:13
  • 20. Revelation 11:2
  • 21. Romans 11:25
  • 22. Matthew 16:27; Matthew 24:30; Matthew 26:64; Mark 13:26
  • 23. Daniel 7:13; Revelation 1:7
  • 24. Luke 18:7
  • 25. Luke 12:57
  • 26. Matthew 3:2
  • 27. Matthew 5:18; Luke 16:17
  • 28. Matthew 24:42-44; Mark 4:19; Luke 12:40, 45; 1 Thessalonians 5:2f
  • 29. Mark 13:33; Luke 12:40
  • 30. Luke 1:19; Revelation 7:9; Revelation 8:2; Revelation 11:4
  • 31. Matthew 26:55; Luke 19:47
  • 32. Mark 11:19
  • 33. Matthew 21:1
  • 34. John 8:2

Footnotes 24

Luke 21 Commentaries

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