READ LUKE 21
Christmas is just around the corner and we’ve almost completed this look at Luke. Jesus has had many things to teach His followers over the past three years – things that will help all of us through the trials of life, give encouragement and hope, support us through times of doubt and help us to grow our faith. It is getting close to the end of His time on earth. Still He has things to share with those who cling to His every word.
In the first few verses He talks about our giving when He notices a poor widow giving her last bit of money to the temple treasury. Jesus knows that she is giving completely out of faith that God will provide for her needs, even though this is all she has. We too should give with such faith. God will never fail us, neither physically, spiritually or monetarily.
His disciples notice the beauty of the temple and all its adornments, so Jesus uses the opportunity to talk about the coming destruction of the building when not a stone will be left unturned. He continues to talk about the end times and the disciples are eager to know more. I believe that we still wonder about the future, because it’s one of those unknowns that causes us to fret. What will it be like? Will everything be destroyed? Will we go to heaven? Will Jesus have mercy on His people?
Jesus tells them that many will follow Him, claiming to be the Messiah. He warns them not to believe those false prophets. He speaks about wars and rumors of wars must happen before the end arrives and even then there will be a while before it happens. He tells of some of the physical signs such as nations rising against nations – earthquakes, pestilence, famine and other natural disasters. There will be persecution against those who follow Christ, but we should arm ourselves with God’s protection and new life is promised for those who believe. This is all part of the coming of the end.
He paints a picture of horrible things happening. The people will become anxious with the anticipation of the terrors yet to be. The heavenly bodies will be shaken and the seas tossed. He tells us not to be afraid even during these horrific events. He will appear in the clouds and we can be assured that our redemption is at hand.
He tells those listening and us as well, that we should be prepared for the end, for we don’t know when it will come. We can do so by staying in the Word of God, following the commandments and believing that God has already forgiven the world from its sins.
Jesus continued to preach at the temple every day. The undercurrent from His enemies was beginning to come to pass. They were plotting against everything He ever said. At night Jesus would retreat to the Mount of Olives for much needed rest and refreshment. Each morning the crowds reassembled and waited to hear what He had to say.