Luke 21:5-28 The Last Days.

The immediately preceding teaching was taking place in the temple precincts. Some drew attention to the temple itself, how it was “adorned with beautiful stones and donations” (v. 5). This was also the context of what Jesus had said concerning the rich giving to the treasury (21:1), and the widow’s two mites (vv. 2-4). What follows now is Jesus teaching concerning the temple’s future. As impressive as it no doubt looked, there were some standing in its precincts who would see its destruction (Cf. Mt. 24:33-34). What comes in largely prophetic apocalyptic language in Matthew, comes in more straight forward historical descriptives in Luke.

Before the destruction of the temple there would arise false Christs (vv. 8-9), wars (v. 10), natural upheavals (vv. 11, 25-26), persecution of His disciples (v. 12), all of which will occasion the opportunity for witness bearing to the gospel of the kingdom (vv. 13-17). Yet, in the midst of this persecution, Jesus promises them that if they are patient they will lose nothing (vv. 18-19). What Matthew called “ ‘the abomination of desolation’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet,” Luke informs us is “Jerusalem surrounded by armies” (v. 20 Cf. Mt. 24:15). These were signs which those present could and should indeed look for as their cue to flee the area of Judea (v. 21). It will be harder for those who are pregnant (v. 23).

This desolation, “are the days of vengeance that all things which are written may be fulfilled” (v. 22). “Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles,” which indeed happened when the armies of Rome overtook the city (v. 24). This all describes what Jesus called “the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory” (v. 27). “He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering” (Dan 9:27). “Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself” (Dan. 9:26). This would bring to a close the last days of the old covenant era when Messiah would “make reconciliation for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy” (Dan. 9:24).

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