for this week: John 4:24 God is a
Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in
We continue our study of
the book of Luke this week as we continue in chapter 21. Last
week, we began our study with the religious leaders questioning
Christ’s authority. Jesus taught on the parable of the vineyard and
we finished with Christ answering the Sadducees and scribes
concerning the resurrection.
I. The Widow’s
21:1 And he looked up, and saw the rich men casting their gifts
into the treasury.
21:2 And he saw also a certain poor widow casting in thither two
21:3 And he said, Of a truth I say unto you, that this poor widow
hath cast in more than they all:
21:4 For all these have of their abundance cast in unto the
offerings of God: but she of her penury hath cast in all the living
that she had.
interested in people who are generous and give to help the cause of
the Lord. Jesus was watching the people cast in to the treasury.
He first observes some rich people casting in their gifts. No doubt
some gave large sums. Finally a poor widow woman came by and cast
in two mites. Two mites was a very small amount. Two mites made
up a farthing, and it was not able to purchase much. But Jesus was
deeply interested in what people give for the cause of the Lord.
Just as in that day, God still watches and knows our giving and more
importantly the heart from which it was given. No doubt the rich
had an abundance of money and could give large sums without a huge
sacrifice. But the poor widow woman cast in all of her living.
Jesus knew that she had almost nothing to give, but he was very
impressed with her. When we give and do it sacrificially, God
certainly knows and is pleased with our heart and love. Remember
that heaven’s arithmetic is not just the total of money given.
There is an account given to how much we have and how much of that
we give to God. No one who gives to the work of the Lord ever
suffers due to rewards being given from the Lord to us. It is
amazing when we put God first, how the old car seems to run a little
longer and the refrigerator that should have quit working two years
ago just keeps on working. God blesses those who give. We should
be like King David who refused to give meaningless gifts. Remember
how there was a plague in the land and David wanted to buy a certain
threshing floor from Araunah. Araunah wanted to give it to David,
but he said if it didn’t cost him something, he would not offer
burnt offerings unto the Lord.
Sam 24:21 And Araunah said, Wherefore is my lord the king come to
his servant? And David said, To buy the threshingfloor of thee, to
build an altar unto the LORD, that the plague may be stayed from the
Sam 24:22 And Araunah said unto David, Let my lord the king take
and offer up what seemeth good unto him: behold, here be oxen for
burnt sacrifice, and threshing instruments and other instruments of
the oxen for wood.
Sam 24:23 All these things did Araunah, as a king, give unto the
king. And Araunah said unto the king, The LORD thy God accept thee.
Sam 24:24 And the king said unto Araunah, Nay; but I will surely
buy it of thee at a price: neither will I offer burnt offerings unto
the LORD my God of that which doth cost me nothing. So David bought
the threshingfloor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver.
Sam 24:25 And David built there an altar unto the LORD, and offered
burnt offerings and peace offerings. So the LORD was entreated for
the land, and the plague was stayed from Israel.
Two more verses
on giving unto the Lord.
3:10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be
meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of
hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you
out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.
Cor 9:7 Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let
him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful
Cor 9:8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that
ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every
Cor 9:9 (As it is written, He hath dispersed abroad; he hath given
to the poor: his righteousness remaineth for ever.
II. The Olivet
21:5 And as some spake of the temple, how it was adorned with
goodly stones and gifts, he said,
21:6 As for these things which ye behold, the days will come, in
the which there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall
not be thrown down.
Some of the
people were very impressed with the beautiful temple which was
adorned with stones and gifts. Jesus knew what was about to happen
to the temple and all the buildings of the city, and tell them that
there would soon not be left one stone upon another which would not
be thrown down.
21:7 And they asked him, saying, Master, but when shall these
things be? and what sign will there be when these things shall come
question the Lord and ask when these things would happen. And
secondly, what sign would there be for these things to come to
pass. Seemed like the people of this day always looked for a
sign. Jesus was speaking of the destruction of the city of
Jerusalem by the Romans which came to pass in 70 A.D.
III. The Course
of This Age
21:8 And he said, Take heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall
come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and the time draweth near: go
ye not therefore after them.
21:9 But when ye shall hear of wars and commotions, be not
terrified: for these things must first come to pass; but the end is
not by and by.
21:10 Then said he unto them, Nation shall rise against nation, and
kingdom against kingdom:
21:11 And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines,
and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be
In these verses,
it speaks of how Jerusalem would be destroyed, and what state the
world would be in during our current age. And then what the
conditions would be right before the end. In Daniel Chapter 9,
prophecy was given about the 70 weeks which were weeks of years.
The first 69 weeks have happened, and there has been a gap in time
from that 69th week until the beginning of the 70th
which will be the 7 years of tribulation. During the seven years
of tribulation, there will be horrible things happening throughout
the whole world. Jesus tells them that they should take heed not
to be deceived because there would be wars and commotions but the
end was not yet. Eventually nations will rise against other
nations, and there would be earthquakes in divers places. Is that
not the case today? Nations rising against nation and kingdom will
have even greater fulfillment during the tribulation period.
Not many days
can go by without another earthquake. It says as time draws to a
close, there would be famines and pestilences. Many starve to
death today in overcrowded countries, and we have crisis such as
aids in America and Africa. Times are ripe for the soon coming of
the Lord Jesus Christ. The final week, the 70th week of
Daniel, will soon begin. If you don’t know Christ as Lord and
Savior, you will be left behind when Jesus comes and takes out the
church before this begins. Today is the day you need to accept
Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior. None of us have a promise
that we will have tomorrow.
21:12 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 rulers for my name's sake.
21:13 And it shall turn to you for a testimony.
21:14 Settle it therefore in your hearts, not to meditate before
what ye shall answer:
21:15 For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your
adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist.
21:16 And ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and
kinsfolks, and friends; and some of you shall they cause to be put
21:17 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake.
21:18 But there shall not an hair of your head perish.
21:19 In your patience possess ye your souls.
Some of these
things mentioned have happened since the death of Christ right up
until today. But it will worsen and be very difficult in the
seven years of tribulation. There will be a remnant of people
saved during this time, and the largest number, if not all, will be
Jews. Jesus warns what will happen in those days as the saved will
be persecuted and delivered up to synagogues, prisons, and be
brought before kings and rulers because of knowing Christ as
Savior. God promises to give people the words to speak in that
day. Families will turn against family members who are saved. It
says in verse 18 that ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s
sake. Here in America, we don’t yet suffer much persecution and
are free to gather in churches without being attacked. However, I
heard on the radio that more people had died in the foreign
countries for the cause of Christ since 1900 than during the
previous 1900 years since Christ died. Be certain that these words
of prophecy will come to pass. God never lies, but Satan tries to
mislead every soul he can. I am so thankful that before the worst
of the trials, Jesus is coming to take us out of this wicked world.
had excellent commentary on verses 18 and 19.
In your patience
possess ye your souls;
get and keep possession of your souls.’’ Some read it as a promise,
"You may or shall possess your souls.’’ It comes all
to one. Note, First, It is our duty and interest at all
times, especially in perilous trying times, to secure the possession
of our own souls; not only that they be not destroyed and lost for
ever, but that they be not distempered now, nor our possession of
them disturbed and interrupted. "Possess your souls, be your
own men, keep up the authority and dominion of reason, and keep
under the tumults of passion, that neither grief nor fear may
tyrannize over you, nor turn you out of the possession and enjoyment
of yourselves.’’ In difficult times, when we can keep possession of
nothing else, then let us make that sure which may be made sure, and
keep possession of our souls. Secondly, It is by patience,
Christian patience, that we keep possession of our own souls. "In
suffering times, set patience upon the guard for the preserving of
your souls; by it keep your souls composed and in a good frame, and
keep out all those impressions which would ruffle you and put you
out of temper.’’
of Jerusalem Foretold
21:20 And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then
know that the desolation thereof is nigh.
21:21 Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains; and
let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them
that are in the countries enter thereinto.
21:22 For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are
written may be fulfilled.
21:23 But woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give
suck, in those days! for there shall be great distress in the land,
and wrath upon this people.
21:24 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 be fulfilled.
again of the destruction that would come when the Roman armies
invade Jerusalem in 70 A.D. He tells how that the people would be
scattered abroad and the town trodden down of the Gentiles. And
these tribes are still pretty scattered as we see the time of the
Gentiles nearing fulfillment. There is a similar account in
Matthew Chapter 24 that can be confused with these verses. We
believe the account in Luke to be about the destruction of Jerusalem
soon after the death of Jesus where the Matthew account speaks of
the time during the last half of the tribulation. The last 3 ½
years will be “Great Tribulation”.
24:15 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation,
spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso
readeth, let him understand:)
24:16 Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:
24:17 Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any
thing out of his house:
24:18 Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his
24:19 And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give
suck in those days!
24:20 But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on
the sabbath day:
24:21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since
the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
24:22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no
flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be
24:23 Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or
there; believe it not.
24:24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and
shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were
possible, they shall deceive the very elect.
24:25 Behold, I have told you before.
24:26 Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the
desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe
24:27 For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even
unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
24:28 For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be
24:29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun
be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars
shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be
24:30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven:
and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see
the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great
24:31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet,
and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from
one end of heaven to the other.
V. The Return
of the Lord in Glory
21:25 And 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;
21:26 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.
21:27 And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with
power and great glory.
21:28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up,
and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.
clearly speak of the time of the tribulation as do those we read
from Matthew Chapter 24. Any times it says that Christ comes in
‘Power and Great Glory’, it is in reference to the second phase of
Christ’s second coming which is at the close of the tribulation.
Praise God that those in that day can look up because the redemption
J. Vernon McGee
had a good comment about how things seem bad today.
For the powers
of heaven shall be shaken [Luke 21:26].
There are people who
quote this verse and say it is a picture of today. My friend, if I
may use a common colloquialism of the streets, “You ain’t seen
nothin’ yet.” If you think we are seeing a fulfillment of this verse
now, you are wrong. Things are bad today, I agree. Political crises
and social distress are cause for great concern. Physical
disturbances are overwhelming, but they are going to get much worse
in the last days.
And then shall
they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory
Christ could return at
any moment. Things are happening so fast today that the church, the
body of Christ, could be taken from this earth before you have
finished reading this paragraph. If it is, I hope you will be with
me in His presence.
VI. Parable of
the Fig Tree
21:29 And he spake to them a parable; Behold the fig tree, and all
21:30 When they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves
that summer is now nigh at hand.
21:31 So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know
ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand.
21:32 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away,
till all be fulfilled.
The fig tree as
used in Scripture is a symbol of the nation Israel. God is telling
us that when we see Israel beginning to gather back to her own land
we know the coming of the Lord is near. In 1948, the Commonwealth
of Nations effectively reformed the nation of Israel. Ever since
then, more and more Jews are gathering back to their homeland. Is
this the generation that would not pass away until all be
fulfilled? I with all my heart believe it is. How long is a
generation? If it were 50 years, it means Christ would have
returned by 1998. Since he has not, we know it must mean 60 or 70
years. So when will it be? 2008… 2018? None of us can know for
sure. But all things appear to be in place for Christ’s return.
21:33 Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass
One thing is
constant. The Bible is God’s Word, and men may try to destroy it
or pervert it with new words that replace God’s true words, but they
will never destroy God’s word. He says my ‘words’ shall not pass
119:89 LAMED. For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.
119:90 Thy faithfulness is unto all generations: thou hast
established the earth, and it abideth.
119:91 They continue this day according to thine ordinances: for
all are thy servants.
21:34 And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be
overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this
life, and so that day come upon you unawares.
21:35 For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the
face of the whole earth.
21:36 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.
21:37 And in the day time he was teaching in the temple; and at
night he went out, and abode in the mount that is called the mount
21:38 And all the people came early in the morning to him in the
temple, for to hear him.
We are to take
heed that we don’t let life so overwhelm us that we let the day of
the Lord sneak up on us. None of the affairs of this life are all
that important. But the things of God are VERY important. Without
Christ, we have nothing. With Christ, we have ALL things. Jesus
was constantly helping the people and was in the temple teaching.
It says they came out early in the morning to hear him teach. He
wanted them to know what was to come to pass. Do you care about
others? Don’t let the gospel be hid to anyone you know.
Cor 4:3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:
Cor 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of
them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of
Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
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4:18 But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth
more and more unto the perfect day.
e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Practice Random Acts of Kindness. Each act spreads, and many will
Matthew, Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Bible,
(Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers) 1997.
McGee, Thru the Bible commentary [computer file],
electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas
Nelson) 1997, c1981 by J. Vernon McGee.