The Widow’s Offering
21 Jesus looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the offering box, and he saw a poor widow put in two small copper coins. And he said, “Truly, I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.”
Jesus Foretells Destruction of the Temple
And while some were speaking of the temple, how it was adorned with noble stones and offerings, he said, “As for these things that you see, the days will come when there will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.” And they asked him, “Teacher, when will these things be, and what will be the sign when these things are about to take place?” And he said, “See that you are not led astray. For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am he!’ and, ‘The time is at hand!’ Do not go after them. And when you hear of wars and tumults, do not be terrified, for these things must first take place, but the end will not be at once.”
Jesus Foretells Wars and Persecution
Then he said to them, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and pestilences. And there will be terrors and great signs from heaven. But before all this they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors for my name’s sake. This will be your opportunity to bear witness. Settle it therefore in your minds not to meditate beforehand how to answer, for I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which none of your adversaries will be able to withstand or contradict. You will be delivered up even by parents and brothers and relatives and friends, and some of you they will put to death. You will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But not a hair of your head will perish. By your endurance you will gain your lives.
Jesus Foretells Destruction of Jerusalem
“But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation has come near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, and let those who are inside the city depart, and let not those who are out in the country enter it, for these are days of vengeance, to fulfill all that is written. Alas for women who are pregnant and for those who are nursing infants in those days! For there will be great distress upon the earth and wrath against this people. They will fall by the edge of the sword and be led captive among all nations, and Jerusalem will be trampled underfoot by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.
The Coming of the Son of Man
“And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves, people fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world. For the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”
The Lesson of the Fig Tree
And he told them a parable: “Look at the fig tree, and all the trees. As soon as they come out in leaf, you see for yourselves and know that the summer is already near. So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that the kingdom of God is near. Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all has taken place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.
“But watch yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a trap. For it will come upon all who dwell on the face of the whole earth. But stay awake at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.”
And every day he was teaching in the temple, but at night he went out and lodged on the mount called Olivet. And early in the morning all the people came to him in the temple to hear him.
Luke 21 Commentary
by Hank Workman
“By your endurance you will gain your lives.”Luke 21:19
It began with an observation of the rich putting their money into the treasury in comparison to a poor widow putting only 2 copper coins in. From there the conversation turned toward the beauty of the Temple. Jesus used both these observations to speak toward the future.
This was no run-of-the-mill conversation. This was Jesus speaking of His ultimate return as King; the build-up toward what that would look like and the troubles this world would go through.
Just like in Matthew 24 which speaks of the same things, it is a sobering message.
Sometimes it’s hard not to speculate the signs of the times even today. We read of these words of Jesus, we compare them to words written in Revelation and attempt to draw lines. Jesus warned about false messiahs coming, natural disasters, and horrific persecutions. We can peruse a headline and wonder.
But what is beneath all these warnings from Jesus is He reassures them and us He will be with us through whatever may come. Whatever hardship or trial we hold; whatever persecution we go through; whatever rocking and rolling of the physical world – Jesus is with us. He will help us. We must, however, continue to sink our trust and hope in Him. We must not allow our own hearts to grow cold. We must endure and be faithful.
It’s easy to let our thoughts be ravaged by the times. Life and circumstances and yes even the world political stage are fleeting in comparison to the greatness of Jesus, His Lordship, and Reign. Yes, there are many things that will be the beginning of the end. But folks, for Believers it’s not the end but the beginning of the beginning – the ultimate being with our Lord Jesus!
Luke 21 Commentary
by Brad Boyles
Some speculate Jesus’ warnings were to be interpreted for the people of that time and others speculate they are future events. We know that the apostles would suffer incredible persecution after Jesus resurrected and sent the Holy Spirit. So, it is fitting that some of what Jesus is speaking of was for them. The temple would surely be destroyed as predicted.
The future events, namely, the abomination of desolation, false prophets, the tribulation, and signs from heaven all must happen before Christ’s second coming. Many today argue about the exact timing of such events.
Old Testament professor Bruce Waltke has an interesting take on the coming of the Son of Man. Let’s look at Matthew’s version of that passage.
“Soon after the trouble of those days, the sun will grow dark, the moon will no longer shine, the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers in space will be driven from their courses.  Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky; and all the peoples of earth will weep as they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.  The great trumpet will sound, and he will send out his angels to the four corners of the earth, and they will gather his chosen people from one end of the world to the other.
 “Let the fig tree teach you a lesson. When its branches become green and tender and it starts putting out leaves, you know that summer is near.  In the same way, when you see all these things, you will know that the time is near, ready to begin.  Remember that all these things will happen before the people now living have all died.  Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.Matthew 24:29-35 GNB
Waltke argues that because Jesus explicitly states in verse 34 that “all these things will happen before the people now living have all died,” the dramatic language describing the coming of the Son of Man is not speaking of a future time, but of a time during the disciples’ lives. When would that time be? When did people weep over the Son of Man coming on the clouds with power and great glory? In Acts 2, directly after Jesus’ ascension into the clouds, Peter gives an impassioned sermon, and we find a reaction very similar to what Jesus is describing.
“All the people of Israel, then, are to know for sure that this Jesus, whom you crucified, is the one that God has made Lord and Messiah!”  When the people heard this, they were deeply troubled and said to Peter and the other apostles, “What shall we do, brothers?”  Peter said to them, “Each one of you must turn away from your sins and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, so that your sins will be forgiven; and you will receive God’s gift, the Holy Spirit.
 For God’s promise was made to you and your children, and to all who are far away—all whom the Lord our God calls to himself.”  Peter made his appeal to them and with many other words he urged them, saying, “Save yourselves from the punishment coming on this wicked people!”  Many of them believed his message and were baptized, and about three thousand people were added to the group that day.Acts 2:36-41 GNB
Whether this was the fulfillment of the coming of the Son of Man or not, the important thing to remember is that Jesus is coming back. Just as surely as the temple was destroyed, and the wheat and tares grow up together, He will return to judge the unrighteous and rescue His children. The most intriguing verses, to me, are these…
“But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.Matthew 24:36 NASB
“Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming.Matthew 24:42 NASB
“For this reason you also must be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will.Matthew 24:44 NASB
What is our response to this chapter? Please, do not let your response be, “I need to figure out the timing!” Yes, we should stay alert and watch for the signs as Jesus commands, but no one knows the day and hour. How many “prophets” have tried to predict the end of the world or Jesus’ return? Why do we even waste our breath speculating and arguing this kind of stuff? Before He ascends, Jesus gives the proper response for this kind of information.
Jesus said to them, “The times and occasions are set by my Father’s own authority, and it is not for you to know when they will be.  But when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, you will be filled with power, and you will be witnesses for me in Jerusalem, in all of Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”Acts 1:7-8 GNB
Be ready. Stick to the plan. Stay faithful and watchful, being good stewards of your resources for the kingdom. Expect that He is coming anytime and live that way! Apply yourself in all diligence to His kingdom work in preparation for His return! This is the response I believe Jesus is looking for from His people.