Wednesday, March 16
Luke 21:5-22:13 — Jesus foretells the future
5 Some of his disciples were remarking about how the temple was adorned with beautiful stones and with gifts dedicated to God. But Jesus said, 6 “As for what you see here, the time will come when not one stone will be left on another; every one of them will be thrown down.”
7 “Teacher,” they asked, “when will these things happen? And what will be the sign that they are about to take place?”
8 He replied: “Watch out that you are not deceived. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am he,’ and, ‘The time is near.’ Do not follow them. 9 When you hear of wars and uprisings, do not be frightened. These things must happen first, but the end will not come right away.”
10 Then he said to them: “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. 11 There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven.
12 “But before all this, they will lay hands on you and persecute you. They will deliver you to synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors, and all on account of my name. 13 And so you will bear testimony to me. 14 But make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves. 15 For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict. 16 You will be betrayed even by parents, brothers, sisters, relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death. 17 Everyone will hate you because of me. 18 But not a hair of your head will perish. 19 Stand firm, and you will win life.
20 “When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, you will know that its desolation is near. 21 Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those in the city get out, and let those in the country not enter the city. 22 For this is the time of punishment in fulfillment of all that has been written. 23 How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! There will be great distress in the land and wrath against this people. 24 They will fall by the sword and will be taken as prisoners to all the nations. Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.
25 “There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. 26 People will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken. 27 At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28 When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”
29 He told them this parable: “Look at the fig tree and all the trees. 30 When they sprout leaves, you can see for yourselves and know that summer is near. 31 Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that the kingdom of God is near.
32 “Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. 33 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.
34 “Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with dissipation, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you suddenly like a trap. 35 For it will come on all those who live on the face of the whole earth. 36 Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.”
37 Each day Jesus was teaching at the temple, and each evening he went out to spend the night on the hill called the Mount of Olives, 38 and all the people came early in the morning to hear him at the temple.
1 Now the Festival of Unleavened Bread, called the Passover, was approaching, 2 and the chief priests and the teachers of the law were looking for some way to get rid of Jesus, for they were afraid of the people. 3 Then Satan entered Judas, called Iscariot, one of the Twelve. 4 And Judas went to the chief priests and the officers of the temple guard and discussed with them how he might betray Jesus. 5 They were delighted and agreed to give him money. 6 He consented, and watched for an opportunity to hand Jesus over to them when no crowd was present.
7 Then came the day of Unleavened Bread on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed. 8 Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and make preparations for us to eat the Passover.”
9 “Where do you want us to prepare for it?” they asked.
10 He replied, “As you enter the city, a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him to the house that he enters, 11 and say to the owner of the house, ‘The Teacher asks: Where is the guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’ 12 He will show you a large room upstairs, all furnished. Make preparations there.”
13 They left and found things just as Jesus had told them. So they prepared the Passover.
Points of Interest:
- (v.24) “Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles”—many of Jesus’ contemporaries thought that because Jerusalem was the home of the Temple, God would never let it be destroyed. This confidence was somewhat foolish, seeing as God had already shown in the past that He was indeed willing to allow His own house to be destroyed if that’s what it took to get the attention of his people; about 600 years before Jesus, Jerusalem was conquered and the Temple destroyed by the Babylonians. In AD 70, the Temple would be destroyed again by the Romans. The Temple was never as important to God as it was to the people of Jerusalem. It wasn’t even His idea; it was David’s (I Chronicles 17). God accepted the Temple and chose to bless the place with his presence, because the temple was a generous expression of gratitude from His people.
- (v.27) “they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory”—Jesus refers to one of the most famous prophecies of the Messiah, found in Daniel 7:13-14.
- (v.34) “and that day will close on you suddenly like a trap”— What Jesus was talking about until now was something that will happen in Jerusalem, which can be avoided by running to the mountains, for which there will be plenty of warning. Here, Jesus is talking about something happening suddenly, across the face of the whole earth. However, even it—the end of the world—can be escaped by the person who faithfully watches in the expectation of Jesus’ rescue.
- (v.1) “the Festival of Unleavened Bread, called the Passover”—this festival commemorates the Israelites’ escape from Egypt. The unleavened bread (bread without yeast) symbolizes the suddenness and haste with which the Israelites left Egypt: they didn’t even have time to let the dough rise. The first Passover, and instructions for future feasts, is found in Exodus 12.
- (v.7) “on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed”—At the first Passover, in Egypt, the people spread some of the lamb’s blood on their doorframes. God sent a plague on the firstborn of the Egyptians, to punish them for keeping the Israelites in slavery. But whenever the destroying angel came across the blood on the doorframe, it passed over that house, saving the life of the firstborn of that house (Exodus 12:23).
- (v.13) “found things just as Jesus had told them”—they are preparing for Jesus’ feast, but Jesus has already prepared for them to prepare. He gives them what they need to serve Him.
Taking it home:
- For you: Pray that God would protect you from worry or distraction or unbelief that would get in the way of you being ready and on the lookout for the things He would like to do in your life.
- For your Six: This life is full of the possibility of unexpected dangers. Pray that God would mercifully protect your Six from being harmed by any disaster.
- For our church/ILTJ: Jesus tells his disciples that they can expect the world to start going crazy, with disasters, wars, and epidemics. He tells them that they can even expect to face personal danger and persecution. But His words are very clear in what actions they should take… “do not fear”… “do not worry”… “stand firm.” Pray that our church would hold on to the words of Jesus when the world around us starts to feel scary and unpredictable. Pray for overcoming fear about funding & completing all we have taken on in ILTJ. Pray for protection from the spirit of fear all over this place