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Bible Commentaries

Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures

Luke 21

Verses 1-4

Prophecy of His Exaltation Luke 20:20 to Luke 21:4 gives a prophecy of Jesus’ exaltation as Jesus cites from Psalms 110:1.

Psalms 110:1, “A Psalm of David. The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.”

Outline Here is a proposed outline:

1. Jesus Is Questioned on Taxes Luke 20:20-26

2. Jesus Is Questioned on the Resurrection Luke 20:27-40

3. Jesus Asks the Sadducees About David’s Son Luke 20:41-44

4. Jesus Denounces the Jewish Leaders to the People Luke 20:45 to Luke 21:4

Luke 20:20-26 Jesus Is Questioned on Taxes (Matthew 22:15-22 , Mark 12:13-17 ) In Luke 20:20-26 Jesus responds to a question that is asked by the Jewish leaders about paying taxes to Caesar.

Luke 20:24 Comments The penny is a British coin. However, the Greek text reads δηνα ́ ριον (G1220), which refers to the Roman denarius, which had the image of the Roman emperor impressed upon it. In contrast, Jesus refers to the mina in Luke 19:13, “And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come.”

Luke 20:27-40 Jesus Is Questioned on the Resurrection (Matthew 22:23-33 , Mark 12:18-27 ) In Luke 20:27-40 Jesus responds to a question asked by the Sadducees on the resurrection.

Luke 20:27 Comments The Sadducees did not believe in a resurrection or life after death. [271]

[271] R. F. Youngblood, F. F. Bruce, R. K. Harrison, and Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nelson's New Illustrated Bible Dictionary, rev. ed. (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1995), in Libronix Digital Library System, v. 2.1c [CD-ROM] (Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp., 2000-2004), “Sadducees.”

Luke 20:28 Comments This law is found in Deuteronomy 25:5-10.

Deuteronomy 25:5, “If brethren dwell together, and one of them die, and have no child, the wife of the dead shall not marry without unto a stranger: her husband's brother shall go in unto her, and take her to him to wife, and perform the duty of an husband's brother unto her.”

Luke 20:35 “neither marry, nor are given in marriage” - Comments Is this a reference to marriage here on earth, now?

Luke 20:34-38 Comments Two Points of Doctrine - Jesus explains two points of doctrine in this passage:

1. God’s view of marriage and the kingdom of God (verses 34-36).

2. The resurrection (verses 31-38).

Luke 20:41-44 Jesus Asks the Sadducees About David’s Son (Matthew 22:41-46 , Mark 12:35-37 ) In Luke 20:41-44 Jesus asks the Sadducees a question about the resurrection by referring to Christ as the Son of David in the book of Psalms.

Luke 20:45 to Luke 21:4 Jesus Denounces the Jewish Leaders to the People (Matthew 23:1-36 , Mark 12:38-40 ) After answering the questions from the Jewish leaders Jesus turns to the people and denounces the hypocrisy of these leaders (Luke 20:45-47). He uses the illustration of a widow who was giving into the treasury to illustrate true service to God.

The Widow’s Mites (Mark 12:41-44 ) In Luke 21:1-4 Jesus takes the opportunity to teach the people by using the example of a widow woman whom He and the others saw casting in two mites into the Temple treasury. He contrasts her sincere giving to the hypocritical offers of the Jewish leaders.

A Lesson on Giving - This story teaches us how to give. This poor widow gave sacrificially. The rich men did not make a sacrifice. She also gave willingly. Paul, the apostle, teaches about these same attitudes of giving in 2 Corinthians.

2 Corinthians 8:1-2, “Moreover, brethren, we do you to wit of the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia; How that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality.”

They also gave joyfully and out of poverty. Note that God accepts the gift we are able to give, no matter how small, and He does not expect us to give that which we do not have:

2 Corinthians 8:12, “For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not.”

The Poor Verses the Rich - Those who were rich probably had many friends in the Temple court to greet and chat with that day (Proverbs 19:6). Jesus probably observed the rich as they noisily dropped their many coins into the Temple treasury. The poor widow probably had not many friends to chat with (Proverbs 19:7). She probably felt uneasy around so many richly dressed people. Probably, like many widows today, she had been done wrong by evil merchants to the point that now she did not trust many people (Also Proverbs 14:20)

Proverbs 19:6, “Many will intreat the favour of the prince: and every man is a friend to him that giveth gifts.”

Proverbs 19:7, “All the brethren of the poor do hate him: how much more do his friends go far from him? he pursueth them with words, yet they are wanting to him.”

Proverbs 14:20, “The poor is hated even of his own neighbour: but the rich hath many friends.”

Luke 20:47 “Which devour widows' houses” - Comments The religious leaders lived a luxurious life from the offerings of the Temple, which was partly made up of the offerings of widows. The next passage of Scripture illustrates the widow’s offering in Luke 21:1-4 when the widow gives two mites into the Temple treasury.

Luke 21:2 Comments Alfred Edersheim says that it was not lawful to contribute a lesser amount than two mites. [272]

[272] Alfred Edersheim, The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah, vol. 2 (New York: Longmans, Green, and Co, 1899), 388.

Verses 1-38

Discourse: Jesus Instructs (Into Jerusalem) - In Luke 19:28 to Luke 21:38 Jesus enters Jerusalem. This part of the journey will take Jesus into the Temple to teach the people for the last time. At this time the emphasis of Jesus’ teachings focuses on eschatology, or His Second Coming.

Outline Here is a proposed outline:

1. Prophecy of His Arrival Luke 19:28-48

2. Prophecy of His Rejection Luke 20:1-19

3. Prophecy of His Exaltation Luke 20:20 to Luke 21:4

Verses 5-38

Jesus Gives His Eschatological Discourse (Matthew 24:3-35 , Mark 13:3-31 ) In Luke 21:5-38 Jesus gives His Eschatological Discourse to some of the people in the Temple. The parallel passages in Matthew and Mark tell us that He was addressing His disciples, which included more than the twelve apostles.

Outline Here is a proposed outline:

1. Prediction of the Destruction of Jerusalem Luke 21:1-2

2. Signs Preceding this Event Luke 21:5-19

3. A Description of the Destruction of Jerusalem Luke 21:20-24

2. The Second Coming of Christ Jesus Luke 21:25-36

3. The Setting of Jesus’ Betrayal Luke 21:37-38

Luke 21:5-6 Prediction of the Destruction of Jerusalem Jesus begins His eschatological discourse in Luke 21:5-6 by predicting the destruction of Jerusalem prior to His Second Coming.

Luke 21:7-19 Signs Preceding this Event In Luke 21:7-19 the disciples ask Jesus to give them the signs that will indicate the coming of this terrible event.

Luke 21:9 Comments Jesus tells us not to be afraid. This is because fear opens the door to torment. When fear is in or heart, we are not able to walk in faith.

1 John 4:18, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment . He that feareth is not made perfect in love.”

Luke 21:15 Comments Jesus has just spent time in the Temple facing the religious leaders as they tried to tempt Him with questions. He answered them with the wisdom of God.

Luke 21:19 Word Study on “possess” Strong says the Greek word κτα ́ ομαι (G2932) literally means, “to get, i.e. to acquire.” Zodhiates says, “To possess, meaning keep in possession of your souls, have them under your control.” The Enhanced Strong says it is used 7 times in the New Testament, being translated in the KJV as “possess 3, purchase 2, provide 1, obtain 1.”

Luke 21:19 Comments We “possess,” or “keep under control” our souls, which consists of our mind, will and emotions, through patience. Jesus warns His disciples in Luke 21:9 of this passage not to be terrified because of these difficult times.

Luke 21:20-24 The Destruction of Jerusalem The description in Luke 21:20-24 is a reference to the destruction of Jerusalem by the Roman Emperor Titus in A.D. 70. The time of the Gentiles will last another two thousand years.

Luke 21:20 “And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies” - Comments It is interesting to note that since the restoration of the nation of Israel in 1948, Jerusalem has been surrounded by Islamic nations.

Luke 21:20 “then know that the desolation thereof is nigh” - Comments Luke did not use the Hebrew term “abomination of desolation” perhaps because it would carry very little meaning to his Gentile audience. However, Matthew and Mark did use this phrase in their parallel passages.

Matthew 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:)”

Mark 13:14, “But when ye shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not, (let him that readeth understand,) then let them that be in Judaea flee to the mountains:”

Luke 21:24 “and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles” Comments John Hagee refers to the phrase “Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles” to refer to the events preceding to May 15, 1948, when Israel took full control of the city of Jerusalem for the first time in over two thousand years. [273] Up until this time Gentiles controlled the city of Jerusalem.

[273] John Hagee, John Hagee Today (San Antonio, Texas: John Hagee Ministries), on Trinity Broadcasting Network (Santa Ana, California), television program.

Luke 21:24 “until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled” Comments We find a reference to the “time of the Gentiles” ( עֵת גֹּויִם ) in Ezekiel 30:3. A description of the “times of the Gentiles” is given in the book of Daniel. King Nebuchadnezzar dreamed about a great statue whose head was made of gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass, his legs of iron and his feet part of iron and part of clay. We understand that this was a prophecy of the kingdoms of Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece and Rome. I believe that the fall of the nation of Israel in 586 B.C. and the rule of Babylon ushered in the “times of the Gentiles,” which refers to the period in human history when the world is ruled by Gentile nations. Jesus described it in the plural as “times” because there are four kingdoms that make up this period of divine history. We are living in the time of the Romans today, since we are using a Roman calendar for our years. This time will end with the Great Tribulation Period when Jesus Christ will return to earth at His Second Coming and establish His throne in Jerusalem to rule and reign over the nations forever.

Ezekiel 30:3, “For the day is near, even the day of the LORD is near, a cloudy day; it shall be the time of the heathen.”

Luke 21:25-36 The Second Coming of Christ Jesus In Luke 21:25-36 Jesus teaches on the rapture of the Church. The Rapture will be a glorious day for the Church, but a time of surprise and mourning for the world (Matthew 24:29-44, Luke 21:25-36). Jesus first refers to a Rapture of the saints in His Eschatological Discourses recorded by Matthew and Luke.

The Time of the Rapture - Matthew’s Gospel suggests that the Rapture will take place immediately after the Tribulation Period, for it says, “Immediately after the tribulation” (Matthew 24:29).

Matthew 24:29-31, “ 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 shaken: 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 glory. 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.”

Matthew 24:40-42, “Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.”

However, Luke’s account suggests that the Lord will deliver His saints from the Tribulation Period through the Rapture, which will take place immediately before the Tribulation Period.

Luke 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.”

If we understand the two different recipients of Matthew and Luke, the explanation is simple. The Gospel of Matthew is written to Jewish converts who were looking for the Second Coming of Christ to set up His kingdom on this earth. But Luke wrote to Gentile Christians who were looking for deliverance from the wickedness of this world. Thus, Matthew explains what will take place at His Second Coming, how Jesus will return and gather His saints together and set up His kingdom on earth and rule and reign from Jerusalem, while Luke exhorts the saints to prepare themselves for the Rapture that will catch the Church up immediately before the Tribulation Period.

Luke 21:25-26 Comments Signs in the Heavens and Earth - Luke 21:25 first refers to the signs in the heavens, followed by signs upon the earth. Jesus then says that the things coming upon the earth happen because the powers of the heavens are shaken. It is possible that the events that take place in the heavens will cause changes upon the earth and set in motion these distressful events. It is also possible that “the powers of heaven” are not a reference to the forces of nature, but to spiritual forces that are behind many terrible things are to take place in the end times. It is again possible that these signs in the heavens and upon the earth are a general description of the seven seals, the seven trumpets, and the seven bowls of God’s wrath being poured forth upon the earth as described in Revelation 6-19.

Luke 21:27 Scripture References There are a number of Scriptures that describe the Second Coming of Jesus Christ as He rides on the clouds of heaven (Daniel 7:13, Matthew 24:30; Matthew 26:64, Mark 13:26; Mark 14:62, Luk 21:27 , 1 Thessalonians 4:17, Revelation 1:7).

Daniel 7:13, “I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.”

Matthew 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 glory.”

Matthew 26:64, “Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.”

Mark 13:26, “And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory.”

Mark 14:62, “And Jesus said, I am: and ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.”

Luke 21:27, “And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.”

1 Thessalonians 4:17, “Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”

Revelation 1:7, “Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.”

Luke 21:28 Comments Why are we to look up as Jesus tells us in Luke 21:28? Perhaps the answer lies in the fact that looking around during such troublesome times will cause us to fear. If we focus on those tragic events that are taking place around us, as Jesus mentions in Luke 21:26, “men’s hearts failing them for fear,” we, too, will fall out of faith in God’s Word and into fear. However, when we focus on things above, our faith remains strong.

Luke 21:29 Comments Many scholars believe that the fig tree represents the nation of Israel. For example, God calls Israel “my fig tree” in Joel 1:7.

Joel 1:7, “He hath laid my vine waste, and barked my fig tree: he hath made it clean bare, and cast it away; the branches thereof are made white.”

The phrase “all the trees” represents the Gentile nations. This verse tells us that Israel in relation to the nations will be the indicator of the last days when Jesus will return to reign on earth. We are to watch Israel.

Luke 21:30 Comments The summer represents harvest time and the judgment that will take place upon the world during this harvest. As we read in the book of Revelation it become very clear that multitudes will be saved during this seven-year tribulation period (Revelation 6:9-11; Revelation 7:9-17). These passages say that “a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hand.” When John asked who they were one of the elders replied saying, “These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” Thus, we know that the time of the Great Tribulation upon the earth is intended to bring in a great harvest rather than to destroy mankind.

Luke 21:32 Comments Many scholars say that Luke 21:32 means that the generation that sees the fig tree bud will not pass away until this prophecy is entirely fulfilled and Jesus returns to set up His kingdom. Israel budded in 1948 when it became a nation.

Hilton Sutton teaches that the phrase “this generation” refers to the rebirth of the nation of Israel as a “new generation” that will no longer pass away, as did the previous Jews because of divine judgment. In other words, Luke 21:32 is saying that the nation of Israel is here to stay forever, and will become a part of the fulfillment of end time prophecy. Sutton says that we cannot apply a time frame to this generation by giving it dates. [274]

[274] Hilton Sutton, interviewed by Kenneth Copeland, Believer’s Voice of Victory (Kenneth Copeland Ministries, Fort Worth, Texas), on Trinity Broadcasting Network (Santa Ana, California), television program.

Luke 21:36 Comments Luke 21:36 teaches us that some believers will be found worthy to escape the seven-year Tribulation Period, and others will not be considered worthy. This is the same message that is taught in the Parable of the Ten Virgins (Matthew 25:1-13), and in the message to the seven Churches in Revelation 2-3.

Luke 21:37-38 The Setting of Jesus’ Betrayal - Luke 21:37-38 serves a concluding remarks that describe the circumstances by which Judas Iscariot will betray the Lord Jesus Christ as recorded in Luke 22:1-6.

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No distribution beyond personal use without permission.
Bibliographical Information
Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on Luke 21". Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghe/luke-21.html. 2013.