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The Olivet Prophecy in Luke 21

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Luke 21

And he looked up and saw the rich men that were casting their gifts into the treasury. 2 And he saw a certain poor widow throwing in there two small coins. 3 And he said: Of a truth I say to you: This poor widow threw in more than all of them. 4 For all these out of their abundance have put in offerings, but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.

Jesus predicts the destruction of the temple
5 And as some spoke of the temple, how it was adorned with goodly stones and offerings, he said: 6 As for these things which you behold, the days will come, in which there shall not be left here one stone upon another; all shall be thrown down. 7 And they asked him, saying: Teacher, when shall these things be? And what shall be the sign when these things are about to happen?
   8 And he said: Take heed you are not led astray. For many shall come in my name, saying: I am he, and, The time is at hand. Do not go after them. 9 And when you shall hear of wars and revolutions, do not be terrified. For these things are necessary and must happen first, but the end will not be immediately. 10 Then said he to them: Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, 11 and there shall be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and pestilences, and there shall be terrors and great signs from heaven.
   12 But more significantly than all these things, they shall lay their hands on you and shall persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons, bringing you before kings and governors for my name's sake. 13 It shall turn out to be your opportunity to give a witness. 14 Settle it therefore in your hearts, not to meditate beforehand how to answer. 15 For I will give you the words and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to withstand or to contradict. 16 But you shall be delivered up even by your parents and brothers and relatives and friends, and they shall kill some of you. 17 And you shall be hated of all men for my name's sake. 18 But not a hair of your head shall perish. 19 In your patience, you shall win your souls.
   20 But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that her desolation is at hand. 21 Then let them that are in Judea flee to the mountains, and let them that are in the midst of her depart, and do not let them that are in the countryside enter therein. 22 For these are days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. 23 Woe to them that are with child in those days, and to those nursing babies! For there shall be great distress upon the land, and wrath upon this people. 24 And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led captive into all the nations, and Jerusalem shall be trodden under foot by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.
   25 And there shall be signs in sun, moon and stars, and upon the earth distress of nations, in perplexity for the roaring of the sea and the waves. 26 Men will be fainting for fear in expectation of the things which are coming on the world; for the powers of the heavens shall be shaken. 27 And then shall they see the Son of Man coming in a cloud, with power and great glory. 28 But when these things begin to happen, look up, lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.
   29 And he told them a parable: Behold the fig tree and all the trees. 30 When they shoot forth, you see it, and know of yourselves that the summer is now near. 31 Even so, you also, when you see these things happening, know that the kingdom of God is near.
   32 Truly I say to you: This generation shall not pass away until all things are accomplished. 33 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.
   34 But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that day come on you unexpectedly. 35 For so shall it come upon all those that dwell on the face of all the earth. 36 But watch continually, praying that you may have strength to prevail against all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.
   37 And every day he was teaching in the temple, and every night he went and stayed on the mount that is called Olivet. 38 And all the people came early in the morning to him in the temple, to hear him.


21:8 Not led astray- This Greek phrase is extensively quoted later in the New Testament concerning the need not be deceived by false teachers within the church (1 Cor. 6:9,15,33; Gal. 6:17; 2 Tim. 3:13).

21:13 God uses bad situations in order to give us an opportunity to witness to others. When we ask “Why this?”- perhaps one of the reasons is so that we might preach through it.

21:17 This hating by all men may imply a world-wide persecution.

21:24 The "times of the Gentiles" appears to refer to the time of Gentile opportunity to learn the Gospel, according to how Paul alludes to it in Rom. 11:25. So today is a great day of opportunity, to respond to and preach the Gospel. The chance won’t always be there.

21:34 Why is there this warning, if the believers of the last days are to be actively persecuted? This verse implies that the world will be in a materially prosperous state in the last days; it will be possible for us to become so preoccupied with it that we do not prepare for the time of tribulation, so that it comes as a sudden surprise. If "that day" is the day of Christ's coming, then it may be that by opting out of the persecution, we will be able to continue to enjoy the materialism of the world, in which case we will be caught unawares by the second coming. Thus while the saints are persecuted, the world enjoys a time of prosperity as it did in the times of Lot and Noah.

21:36 In Greek, the verb 'to watch' is related to the noun 'watch', referring to soldiers guarding something, or the period of guard duty. The idea behind 'watching' is definitely defensive rather than aggressive. Lk. 21:36 defines watching as praying always, concentrating our faith upon the fact that ultimately we will stand acceptably before the Lord Jesus at the day of judgment, and by His grace be saved from the great judgments which will surely come upon this world. The ideas of watching and praying often occur together (Mk. 14:38; Mt. 26:41; Eph. 6:18; 1 Pet. 4:7). Prayer for our forgiveness, for acceptance by our Lord, must therefore characterize our watching in these last days.