This chapter contains Jesus’ last recorded discourse in Luke. It is also known as the Olivet Discourse in Matthew 24 and Mark 13, although in Luke it does not mention the Mount of Olives as the setting. The Lord had been teaching in the temple, and He met with confrontations from the religious leaders. Prompted by the comments of some on the lavish materials of the temple, the Lord spoke about the future events leading up to His return. In His solemn predictions on the coming calamities, He prepared His followers through instructions and encouraged them through exhortations.
Did You Know...?
1. Two mites (21:2): A mite was worth a small fraction of a day’s wage.
2. How it was adorned (21:5): [The temple’s] sanctuary and surrounding structure were huge, solid, and glistening, a symbol of Jewish religion and Herodian splendor. [ref]
3. Delivering you up to the synagogues (21:12): Synagogues were used not only for worship and school, but also for community administration and confinement while awaiting trial. [ref]
- The Widow’s Two Mites (21:1-4)
- The Signs of the End Time (21:5-38)
- Prediction of desolation (21:5-6)
- Be aware of deception (21:7-9)
- Calamities and persecution (21:10-19)
- Destruction of Jerusalem (21:20-24)
- Coming of the Son of Man (21:25-28)
- Parable of the fig tree (21:29-33)
- Necessity of watchfulness (21:34-36)
- Teaching in the Temple (21:37-38)
What two major events does Jesus’ prediction point to?Hide Answer
The desolation of Jerusalem and the coming of the Son of Man.
What do you think motivated the widow to offer all that she had?
Based on this narrative, what kind of offering does God value the most?Hide Answer
God does not just look at the amount we give, but more importantly, how willing we are to surrender to Him that which is most valuable to us. How much we are willing to give God our best is an indication of what place He has in our hearts.
Compare your offering to God with that of the widow.
How did the people feel about the temple?Hide Answer
They took pride in the splendor of the temple, the symbol of their religion.
What impact do you think Jesus’ words must have had on His listeners?
What do verses 8-9 teach about the coming of the end time?Hide Answer
The end would not come immediately, despite the claims of deceivers or wars and commotions.
Based on this passage, how should we face persecution?Hide Answer
1. Understand that we are suffering for Christ’s sake and that it affords an opportunity to testify for Him (12-13). 2. Trust that the Lord will give us the right words for His defense (14-15). 3. Endure to the end, even unto death, in order to gain life (16, 19).
What assurance did the Lord give the disciples concerning the coming persecution?Hide Answer
The Lord will give them words of wisdom during trial (15). He will also watch over them (18).
Why would Jerusalem become desolate? (cf. 13:34-35; 19:41-44)
Explain the fate of Jerusalem according to 24.Hide Answer
The people will be killed and they will be scattered in all nations until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled. The times of the Gentiles probably refers to the period when Gentiles will trample Jerusalem (cf. Dan 8:13-14; 12:11).
How will the Son of Man come? Why is this significant?Hide Answer
The depiction of Christ’s coming in a cloud with power and great glory alludes to His return as the glorified King (cf. Dan 7:13-14; Mt 16:27-28; Lk 9:26).
How are we to react to the terrible times before the Lord’s return, and why?Hide Answer
We should rejoice knowing that the day of salvation is near. The day when the Lord comes will be the day redemption will be fully realized and when we will receive the promised resurrection (Rom 8:22-23; 1Thess 4:16-17).
How is such attitude different from the reaction of the unbelievers? (cf. Rev 6:12-17)
What purpose does the parable of the fig tree serve?Hide Answer
Just as the budding of the fig tree is a sign that summer is near, the events predicted by the Lord tells us that the kingdom of God is near. The kingdom of God here refers to the new heaven and new earth where God reigns forever (cf. 2Pet 3:10-12).
What personal lesson can you gather from the words in 33?
What does it mean for our hearts to be “weighed down”?Hide Answer
It means letting our hearts be preoccupied with the pleasures and worries of this life (cf. 8:14).
Give some examples of things that can weigh our hearts down.
What will be the consequence for those whose hearts are weighed down? Why?Hide Answer
Indulgence in pleasure and the anxieties of life distract us from our Christian duties and impede our spiritual growth. If we do not focus our hearts on the things of God, we will not be ready for our Master’s return, but will be caught by surprise and be rejected as wicked servants (34; cf. 12:42-46).
How are you leading a watchful life today? What things do you have to give up so that your heart is not weighed down?
What is remarkable about Jesus’ listeners?Hide Answer
They came to the Lord Jesus early in the morning to hear Him (38).
What can we learn from them?