Bible Commentaries

Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New TestamentZerr's N.T. Commentary

Luke 21

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Verse 1

1 This money was a voluntary offering, made for the upkeep of the temple. The rich men were casting in much in actual count of the money.

Verse 2

2 The widow cast in two mites instead of one as is generally stated. According to Robinson's lexicon, a mite was equal to about one fifth of a cent. The widow contributed about one half of a cent to the good work. The actual amount of money was not the main point as Jesus explains.

Verse 3

4 Jesus stated in literal language what he meant figuratively. Our contributions to worthy causes are valued in the Lord's sight on the basis of our ability to give, not in literal "dollars and cents." (See 2Co 8:12.)

Verse 5

5 This adornment of the goodly stones was by way of "remodeling," which was done at various times through a period of 46 years (Joh 2:20).

Verse 6

6 The Jews were vain in their admiration of the temple. They-had the idea that it was "titanic" and hence indestructible; but Jesus rebuked their pride by predicting its utter destruction. The completeness of this destruction and the manner in which it was to be accomplished, is related in chapter 19:43, 44.

Verse 7

7 According to Mat 24:3, it was the disciples who asked Jesus the question. But in that passage it may be seen that they really asked two questions, although they had in mind what they thought would take place as one event. It will be well for the reader to reexamine the comments on that entire chapter.

Verse 8

8 This corresponds with Mat 24:4-5.

Verse 9

9 The conflict between the Jews and the Romans did not begin in Judea. Hence the people of Jerusalem would hear about wars in the farther territories, some time before it reached the capital of the nation against which Caesar was at war.

Verse 10

0 The Roman Empire was composed of many nations, and when the war against the Jews broke out, it threw the whole empire into commo-tions.

Verse 11

1 A state of war often produces shortages in the necessities of life, which brings famine and pestilence as a natural consequence. A literal earthquake is never caused by warfare, but God has brought them about at various times to mark His concern for the conditions. In the present case it was to be one of the signs the disciples were given by which they could see the approaching storm.

Verse 12

2 Many of the Christians were Jews and others were Gentiles. The disturbances of the time stirred up the Romans against them which led to persecutions.

Verse 13

3 This means that when the disciples undergo these persecutions, it will turn out to be a testimony for them. They will recall that Jesus foretold it and thus it will prove to them that He was a true prophet. When a prediction becomes history, it amounts to a verifying evidence. (See Exo 3:12.)

Verse 14

5 See the comments on this kind of assurance at chapter 12:11, 12.

Verse 16

6 Some members of various families were disciples of Christ and some were not. In the disturbed conditions, these individuals would be arrayed against each other.

Verse 17

7 Some would blame the war on the influence of the teaching Christ, and in spitework would per-secute the disciples.

Verse 18

8 Not an hair perish is a figurative form of speech, meaning that not the least harm would come to the disciples who heeded the instructions of Jesus. A note on Jo-sephus, Wars, Book 2, Chapter 19, Sections 6, 7, shows how it came about, that an unexpected retreat of the Roman forces from Jerusalem, for a brief period, gave the Christians an opportunity to escape from the city. "This they did on this occasion and were preserved."

Verse 19

9 Christians should not let persecutions or other trials cause them to lose patience. If they will endure through to the end they will possess or save their souls. It means the same as Mat 24:13; endurance and patience are the same.

Verse 20

0 Compassed with armies will mean the siege is on.

Verse 21

1 Those who are outside of Jerusalem will have no difficulty as far as the hostile army is concerned, in escaping to the mountains, for the war will be directed against the cities only.

Verse 22

2 Things . . . may be fulfilled. It was predicted in Dan 9:27.

Verse 23

3 An expectant or nursing mother would find it very difficult to make a hurried escape out of the land. Jesus was not pronouncing a woe, just predicting it.

Verse 24

4 Times of the Gentiles. Jerusalem was the capital of the Jewish nation, both for its political and religious government. It continued to be such for the political government, and when the church was set up the Jews first accepted the Gospel, then they recognized it as their model (not capital) for religious government. But the Jews as a nation turned against Christ and the church, having already rejected Him and had him crucified. As a punishment, their city was doomed to be overthrown and they deprived of the possession of it. Until would imply that when the times of the Gentiles had been completed, the Jews would again come back to Jerusalem. But, they were to come back as Christians, which is predicted in Rom 11:25.

Verse 25

6 This paragraph is figurative and is to be explained in the same way as Mat 24:29; referring to the period called the "Dark Ages" in history.

Verse 27

7 See the notes on Mat 24:30.

Verse 28

8 Your redemption draweth nigh is equivalent to the gathering of the elect (the faithful) predicted in Mat 24:30-31, at the second coming of Christ.

Verse 29

1 This corresponds with Mat 24:32-33.

Verse 32

3 This paragraph refers to the destruction of Jerusalem. See the notes on Mat 24:34-35, giving special attention to the word "generation."

Verse 34

4 Surfeiting is from KRAI-PALE which Robinson defines, "A seizure of the head; hence intoxication, debauch, giddiness; reveling and drunkenness." The verse is a warning to disciples not to be absorbed in loose and worldly living, so as to let the day of Christ slip up on them. (See 1Th 5:1-8.)

Verse 35

5 A snare is something that takes a victim unexpectedly. The day of Christ will come upon the masses of human beings in the same way.

Verse 36

6 If Christians lead a prayerful and watchful life, they will be looking for Christ and will be ready to stand before him in peace.

Verse 37

8 This was a "series" of meetings, something like some that are conducted today. An incidental difference is that ours generally are conducted in the nighttime, while that of Jesus was in the day.
Bibliographical Information
Zerr, E.M. "Commentary on Luke 21". Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament. 1952.