Confraternity Bible: New Testament and Supplemental Commentary

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LUKE - Chapter 21

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Luke 21

Supplemental Commentary:

Note.  Only those parts of the Third Gospel that are peculiar to it are commented on here.  For all other parts the reader should consult the Commentaries on the parallel passages in the other Gospels.

I.  THE PUBLIC MINISTRY OF JESUS  3-21 (continued)

6.  Last Ministry at Jerusalem  18, 35 -- 21, 38 (continued)

21, 1-4:  The Widow's Mite.  Parallel in Mark 12, 41-44.

21, 5-19:  Destruction of Jerusalem and End of the World.    5-13.  Parallels in Matt. 24, 1-9 and Mark 13, 1-9; cf. also Matt. 10, 17 f.    14-19.  Parallel in Mark 13, 11-13; cf. also 12, 11; Matt. 10, 19-21.    18 f.  Peculiar to Luke; cf. 12, 7.

21, 20-24:  Destruction of Jerusalem.  Parallels in Matt. 24, 15-22 and Mark 13, 14-20.    24.  Peculiar to Luke.  V.24b foretells a long period between the destruction of Jerusalem and the Second Coming of Christ.  This is called the times of the nations or of the Gentiles, because during this period the Gentiles are predominant not only in worldly affairs but also in the kingdom of God.

21, 25-28:  The Signs of the Last Day.  Parallels in Matt. 24, 29-31 and Mark 13, 24-27.

21, 29-33:  Jerusalem's Impending Destruction.  Parallels in Matt. 24, 32-35 and Mark 13, 28-31.

21, 34-38:  The Need of Watchfulness.  The other Synoptic Gospels record somewhat similar words of Christ at the end of the Echatological Discourse but nothing that is strictly parallel.    34-36.  Cf. the similar words of Christ, warning us not to be engrossed in the cares and pleasures of this world, in 17, 26 ff; Matt. 24, 36 ff; Mark 13, 32 ff.    35.  Cf. Isa. 24, 17.    37.  Cf. 19, 47; Matt. 21, 17; Mark 11, 11.19.    38.  Cf. 19, 48; Mark 12, 37b.

Confraternity Bible:

The Widow's Mite  1 But looking up he saw the rich who were putting their gifts into the treasury.  2 And he saw also a certain poor widow putting in two mites.  3 And he said, "Truly I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all.  4 For all these out of their abundance have put in as gifts to God; but she out of her want has put in all that she had to live on."

End of the World  5 And as some were saying of the temple that it was adorned with beautiful stones and offerings, he said, 6 "As for these things that you behold, the days will come in which there will not be left one stone upon another that will not be thrown down."  7 And they asked him, saying, "Master, when are these things to happen, and what will be the sign when these things will begin to come to pass?"

8 And he said, "Take care not to be led astray.  For many will come in my name, saying, 'I am he,' and, 'The time is at hand.'  Do not, therefore, go after them.  9 But when you hear of wars and insurrections, do not be terrified; these things must first come to pass, but the end will not be at once."  10 Then he said to them, "Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; 11 and there will be great earthquakes in various places, and pestilences and famines, and there will be terrors and great signs from heaven.

12 "But before all these things they will arrest you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons, dragging you before kings and governors for my name's sake.  13 It shall lead to your bearing witness.  14 Resolve therefore in your hearts not to meditate beforehand how you are to make your defense.  15 For I myself will give you utterance and wisdom, which all your adversaries will not be able to resist or gainsay.  16 But you will be delivered up by your parents and brothers and relatives and friends; and some of you they will put to death.  17 And you will be hated by all for my name's sake; 18 yet not a hair of your head shall perish.  19 By your patience you will win your souls.

Destruction of Jerusalem  20 And when you see Jerusalem being surrounded by an army, then know that her desolation is at hand.  21 Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains; and let those who are in her midst go out, and let those who are in the country not enter her.  22 For these are days of vengeance, that all things that are written may be fulfilled.  23 But woe to those who are with child, or have infants at the breast in those days!  For there will be great distress over the land, and wrath upon this people.  24 And they will fall by the sword, and will be led away as captives to all the nations.  And Jerusalem will be trodden down by the Gentiles, until the times of the nations be fulfilled.

The Signs of the Last Day  25 "And there will be signs in the sun and moon and stars, and upon the earth distress of nations bewildered by the roaring of sea and waves; 26 men fainting for fear and for expectation of the things that are coming on the world; for the powers of heaven will be shaken.  27 And then they will see the Son of Man coming upon a cloud with great power and majesty.  28 But when these things begin to come to pass, look up, and lift up your heads, because your redemption is at hand."

Jerusalem's Impending Destruction  29 And he spoke to them a parable.  "Behold the fig tree, and all the trees.  30 When they now put forth their buds, you know that summer is near.  31 Even so, when you see these things coming to pass, know that the kingdom of God is near.  32 Amen I say to you, this generation will not pass away till all things have been accomplished.  33 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

The Need of Watchfulness  34 "But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be overburdened with self-indulgence and drunkenness and the cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly 35 as a snare.  For come it will upon all who dwell on the face of all the earth.  36 Watch, then, praying at all times, that you may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that are to be, and to stand before the Son of Man."

37 Now in the daytime he was teaching in the temple; but as for the nights, he would go out and pass them on the mountain called Olivet.  38 And all the people came to him early in the morning in the temple, to hear him.