Luke Chapter 21
Luke 21:1 “And he looked up, and saw the rich men casting their gifts into the treasury.”
“The treasury”: Thirteen chests with funnel-shaped openings stood in the court of the women. Each was labeled for a specific use, and donations were given accordingly.
We see from this that the Lord does not overlook anything. He knows when you have given and when you have not. He knows also, whether you gave grudgingly or from a free heart.
Luke 21:2 “And he saw also a certain poor widow casting in thither two mites.”
“Poor widow”: The Greek expression signifies extreme poverty. This woman was desperate poor and more fit to be a recipient of charity than a donor.
“Two mites”: The smallest copper coins in use in Palestine were worth about one-eighth of a cent, but they were all this woman had to live on (verse 4).
We have studied before how important it is to do the best you can with what has been entrusted to you. We see here, this widow by the world’s standards has put in very little and in many groups today would not be heavily sought after, because she would not have very much to put in the collection plate.
Jesus looks on things differently than the world, as we will see in the next few verses.
Luke 21:3 “And he said, Of a truth I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast in more than they all:”
Jesus is saying the rich men did not sacrifice for God’s work. It was no pain at all for them to give in their abundance, but this woman sacrificed all that she had to give to her Lord. Great will be her reward in heaven.
Luke 21:4 “For all these have of their abundance cast in unto the offerings of God: but she of her penury hath cast in all the living that she had.”
“Their abundance”: There was nothing sacrificial about their giving.
Luke 21:5 “And as some spake of the temple, how it was adorned with goodly stones and gifts, he said,”
“Goodly stones”: Some of the stones in the temple complex at Jerusalem measure 40x12x12 feet and were expertly quarried to fit perfectly against one another. The temple buildings were made of gleaming white marble, and the whole eastern wall of the large main structure was covered with gold plates that reflected the morning sun, making a spectacle that was visible for miles.
Luke 21:6 “[As for] these things which ye behold, the days will come, in the which there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.”
This will truly come to pass within 40 years of the time Jesus was speaking. Jesus tells them here; you have your eyes on the beautiful things of this world and you have neglected the weightier things of the Spirit. When all this earthly shall be destroyed, what will you view then?
Luke 21:7 “And they asked him, saying, Master, but when shall these things be? and what sign [will there be] when these things shall come to pass?”
Everyone from every generation wants an answer to this. We are not to fret about when all this will happen. Our concern is to stay ready to meet Him. We dealt with this same thing (in Matthew 24 and in Mark chapter 13), more fully.
Luke 21:8 “And he said, Take heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in my name, saying, I am [Christ]; and the time draweth near: go ye not therefore after them.”
I am just sure that the reason this is mentioned so many times is because Jesus knows how deceiving these impostors will be. They have great deception. As I have mentioned several times prior to this, the only way not to be deceived is to learn all the Bible you possibly can.
Try the spirits and see whether they are of God. Pray and trust God. We cannot let our guard down. Be careful not to do anything that appeals to the flesh. Get the flesh in subjection to your spirit.
Today, as never before, people are claiming to be Christ, because the time is near for the second coming of Christ.
Luke 21:9 “But when ye shall hear of wars and commotions, be not terrified: for these things must first come to pass; but the end [is] not by and by.”
“The end”: False prophets, as well as wars and rumors of wars, characterize the whole of the present age, but will escalate toward the end (2 Tim. 3:13). Also, read (Matthew 14:16-28).
There have been wars and rumors of wars for thousands of years. The difference in then and now is that man has the power to destroy all of mankind. Just because there is a war is not reason enough to say the end is near.
Luke 21:10 “Then said he unto them, Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom:” “And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven.”
Signs shall there be from heaven”: The cross references (in Matt. 24:7 and Mark 13:8), omit this phrase (verse 25).
This is speaking of right about the time of the second coming of Christ. There are earthquakes more often now than a few years ago. Occasionally we see devastating earthquakes in faraway places.
There have been famines in India, parts of Africa, and Ethiopia. Most of the people where these great famines are occurring are worshipping false gods, such as animals.
We deal more fully with all of this in our teaching on Matthew, chapter 24.
Luke 21:12 “But before all these, they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute [you], delivering [you] up to the synagogues, and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for my name’s sake.”
We see here that Jesus jumps from the end of the Gentile age (in verse 11), to the years immediately after His crucifixion (in verse 12). These followers of Jesus will suffer great persecution. The sad thing is that this persecution comes from the synagogues and from the religious leaders of their day. It is not much different from our days.
If you get to the point that you are serious about your relationship with God, you will find that your greatest opposition comes from people in the church.
Luke 21:13 “And it shall turn to you for a testimony.”
“Turn to you for a testimony”: Trails are always opportunities (James 1:2-4), and persecution is often an opportunity to magnify one’s testimony.
This very fact, that they are persecuted for what they believe, lets you know that they believe the right thing. Their persecution testifies for them. Jesus was persecuted. His true followers will be persecuted also.
Luke 21:14 “Settle [it] therefore in your hearts, not to meditate before what ye shall answer:”
This verse is meant as a comfort for those under life-threatening persecution, not an excuse for laziness in ministry. The exact same expression is used (in Luke 12:11-12), speaking of concern for one’s material necessities. In neither context was Jesus condemning legitimate toil and preparation. He was promising the Holy Spirit’s aid for times of persecution when there can be no preparation.
Luke 21:15 “For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist.”
In (Exodus 4:11), God tells Moses about his mouth:
Exodus 4:11 “And the LORD said unto him, Who hath made man’s mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the LORD?”
These two Scriptures above and this one in Exodus make it very clear. God who made our mouth can surely put the words in there that we need to say in every situation. Let the Lord do the talking through you is what He is saying. You can never fail when you do this.
Luke 21:16 “And ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends; and [some] of you shall they cause to be put to death.”
The above-mentioned people know you so well that they can never believe that God has done anything special in your life. When you begin in the ministry, the very people you thought would be behind you 100% is seldom behind you at all.
Luke 21:17 “And ye shall be hated of all [men] for my name’s sake.”
This is true today, as well as when the apostles were ministering. The world hates the believers. Perhaps, it is because we make them feel guilty.
Luke 21:18 “But there shall not a hair of your head perish.”
“Not a hair” (verse 16). This was not a promise for the preservation of their physical lives, but a guarantee that they would suffer no eternal loss. God Himself sovereignly preserves His own.
I believe we must look back at (verse 15), to find what this is saying. If you say the words the Lord puts in your mouth, then there shall no harm come to you. We are not able to defend ourselves, but God can and will defend us.
Luke 21:19 “In your patience possess ye your souls.”
The true sense of this verse seems to be, “By your endurance you will gain your lives,” referring to the final aspect of salvation, namely glorification.
We are not to get hysterical or lose our patience when difficulty arises. We must depend totally on the Lord. Our conduct under pressure reveals just how devoted and dependent we are upon the Lord.
Luke Chapter 21 Questions
1. In the temple, who did Jesus first notice casting his money into the treasury?
2. How much did the poor widow cast in?
3. What did Jesus say about her offering?
4. Why did Jesus not have as much respect for the offering of the rich man?
5. What was the temple adorned with?
6. What did Jesus say would be thrown down?
7. What question did they ask Jesus about?
8. In verse 8, Jesus says take heed that ye be not _______.
9. These deceivers will claim to be who?
10. How is the only way not to be deceived?
11. What does Jesus say to do when we see wars and rumors of wars?
12. What are some of the natural disasters that will occur before the second coming of Christ?
13. Who are people worshipping in India as a whole?
14. Verse 12 happens in what time?
15. What chapter of Matthew is all about the end?
16. Who will be brought before kings and rulers and be thrown in to prison?
17. Who persecutes Christians more than anyone else?
18. What will turn to you for a testimony in verse 13?
19. Why should we not meditate on what we will say when we are answering for the Lord?
20. Who made our mouth?
21. In verse 16, who betrays whom?
22. Why will Christians be hated?
23. Verse 18 says what will not perish?
24. Explain verse 18.
25. In your ____________ possess ye your _______.