Luke Chapter 21

Posted by Dion Todd September 21st, 2015 4,088 Views 0 Comments

Bible Study on Luke 

Luke Chapter 21

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Luke 21 Outline:

21:01-04 The widows gift.
21:05-07 Not one stone upon another.
21:08-11 The conflict of nations.
21:12-19 Persecution.
21:20-24 The destruction of Jerusalem.
21:25-28 The coming of the Son of man.
21:29-33 The fig tree.
21:34-36 Be ready for His return.
21:37-38 Teaching in the temple.

Fun Facts:
— Jesus taught in the temple in Jerusalem daily even though the religious leaders sought a way to kill Him (Luke 21:37).

Study Notes:
Luke 21:1-4 Jesus would sometimes sit opposite the treasury in the temple and watch the people put money into the offering box (Mark 12:41). Many who were rich put in large sums. Luke tells us that a poor widow came along while Jesus was there.

The word poor here, pentichros, is only used here in the New Testament and means necessitous: — poor. A widow had very few ways of earning money in the first century. Woman were treated much differently then. They were usually in an arranged marriage by twelve or thirteen, were not educated, and once their husband and youth were gone, they lived a seriously hard life. A poor widow would have been the poorest of the poor.

This poor widow put two small copper coins into the offering box. The coin was a “Lepta”, sometimes translated as “mites.” It was the smallest coin available and both together were only worth a fraction of a penny. It is said that worshipers were not allowed to give less than two lepta, so this was the minimum offering that could be given.

It was all that she had and Jesus said that she gave more than all of the rest combined, because it is not how much you give, but how much that you keep for yourself. Rather than give nothing, she made a sacrifice and gave all that she had to God.

That is amazing faith. We hear from people all the time that tell us that they are on a fixed income and cannot afford to give anything, ever. That is just another way of saying that they keep 100% for themselves. Yes, the truth hurts. If this is you, fight through the burn and keep reading.

Trust God, give to His work and He will in turn provide new opportunities and take care of you. Jesus said “give and it will be given unto you” (Luke 6:38). Don’t, and it won’t. It is not rocket science. Sowing and reaping is a law of God that has been around since creation. Isaac sowed in a time of famine and reaped a one-hundred fold return (Gen. 26:12).

God does not bless disobedience, laziness, or ignorance. He rewards the faithful and obedient that put their trust in Him. Whoever can be trusted with a little, can also be trusted with a lot. Whoever is dishonest with a little, will be dishonest with a lot (Luke 16:10). If you will not give to God now, you will not give if you had one-hundred times more. The poor widow did not make excuses and Jesus took notice.

Luke 21:5-7 As they were leaving the temple one of them commented on the magnificent building. Josephus wrote that some of the stones of the temple were forty-five cubits (67 feet or 20.5 meters) long. The offerings refer to decorative gifts that decorated the area. Herod gave a golden vine with grape clusters as tall as a man. Jesus explains that it will be totally destroyed and not one stone left upon another.

This happened in 70 A.D. When the Romans set fire to the temple and the gold melted and ran down between the stones. They pulled all the stones of the temple apart and used a plow over the area to gather as much of the gold as possible.

Luke 21:8-24 The disciples asked Jesus when this would be and what the sign would be that preceded it. Luke makes it clear that up to verse 24, Jesus is speaking of events leading up to the fall of Jerusalem.

His disciples would be hated just as Jesus was hated. Many would be killed, persecuted, thrown into prison, and brought before Governors. Jesus warned them that many false messiahs would come claiming to be Him, but His coming would be unmistakable. You will not have to look for Him, you will not be able to miss His coming.

Verse 18 “Not a hair of your head will perish” sounds like a contradiction when some of them would be killed, but to me it points to God’s total control. God is in charge, His plan will come to pass, man can do nothing to eternally harm us, even if we die in His service it is merely a transition for us. Disciples of Jesus follow God Almighty regardless of the consequences and persevere to the end. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego said it best when they told Nebuchadnezzar “Our God is able to deliver us from your hand, but even if He does not, we will not serve your god” (Daniel 3:16).

During a war, people living in the country would come to live in the walled cities for protection. Jesus told them when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then flee to the mountains instead because the city would be destroyed.

Jesus said these are the days of vengeance (22) to fulfill all that is written. What would happen to Jerusalem was not an accident, but that the long coming penalty of ignoring God had once again caught up with them.

Jerusalem had already been sacked and the inhabitants carried off to Babylon in the book of Jeremiah. It was rebuilt during the lives of Ezra and Nehemiah. Now the city was restored, but backslidden again, and the city was going to be destroyed once again. The destruction of Jerusalem was a divine judgement from God.

A siege was bad for everyone, but especially pregnant women and those with children. People would be starving to death during the coming siege and would eat their own children. 1,100,000 people were killed in the siege of Jerusalem and 97,000 more captured. In 70 A.D. Jerusalem was destroyed and Israel disbanded until modern times (1948).

Luke 21:24 reads: “They will fall by the edge of the sword, and will be led captive into all the nations. Jerusalem will be trampled down by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.” (Luke 21:24 WEB). There was no Israel from 70 A.D. until 1948.

Luke 21:25 Now Jesus moves forward in time and speaks of His return. There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. Anxiety, fear of what is coming, the powers of the heavens will be shaken. His followers are to look up, be encouraged, their redemption draws near. This is an exciting time.

Luke 21:29 Jesus told a parable about the fig tree. When they begin budding you know that summer is already near. Jesus said that when you see all these things coming to pass, you would know that the Kingdom of God is near. “This generation will not pass away” is a bit vague but here are two thoughts: Jesus maybe speaking about the generation that is alive when these things begin to come to pass. When things begin to wrap up, it will progress quickly.

A second line of thought is that “generation” may be the type of person that persists until the end. Compare Psalms 12:7 and Psalms 14:5. These speak of a type of generation that spans several lifetimes. Just something to make you scratch your head and say what.

“You, O LORD, will keep them; you will guard us from this generation forever” (Psalms 12:7).

“There they are in great terror, for God is with the generation of the righteous” (Psalms 14:5).

Luke 21:34 Jesus wrapped up His speech by telling His disciples to live ready. He was speaking to His disciples when He said:

“So be careful, or your hearts will be loaded down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that day will come on you suddenly. For it will come like a snare on all those who dwell on the surface of all the earth. Therefore be watchful all the time, asking that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will happen, and to stand before the Son of Man” (Luke 21:34–36 WEB).

We are to live our lives ready to meet Jesus and if you are distracted, you may be caught off guard. When the time is up, it will be pencils down.

Luke 21:37 Jesus taught in the temple every day, but at night He would go out to the Mount of Olives. The people returned each morning to the temple to hear Him speak. The Pharisees and priests plotted to kill Him, but could do nothing yet but watch and listen.

Study Questions: (if your answers are very long, you may want to type them first in something like Notepad, which doesn't require an Internet connection, then copy and paste (Ctrl-A to select, Ctrl-C to copy, Ctrl-V to paste), to prevent mishaps. Also, there is a 3K character limit, so if they are super long, feel free to post more than once, and just answer a couple of questions at a time. You are welcome to post any questions you may have, as well. We look forward to your thoughts!)

1. In Luke 21:1-4, Jesus praised the widow who sacrificed beyond her abundance in the offering. In what ways can we discern when it is time for us to make such sacrifices?

2. In this chapter, Jesus foretells of wars, strife and persecution. What is the job of His people during these times and how can we carry it out?

3. Jesus said that there would be persecution even from “parents and brothers and relatives and friends”. What can we do during such times for our family and friends?

4. Jesus called for us to watch ourselves to keep from falling into traps like drunkenness and other sins. How can we strengthen ourselves from such temptations?

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