Daily Bible Studies
|Series Theme: Luke's Gospel Studies|
INTRODUCTION - Luke 21 -24
If you have worked your way through this Gospel you will know that we have now arrived, in Luke's accounts, at the point where Jesus has arrived in Jerusalem for that last week before his death and resurrection. There is still another chapter of teaching to come, but most of what is ahead of us is the incredible drama of his closing days.
The Structure of these Studies
This last set of studies fall into clear phases of what was taking place:
The Lessons of these Studies
In this set of studies watch for the following things:
Part 1 : The Final Hours of Teaching
In this first Part we'll be seeing, in chapter 21, Jesus teaching on what is going to happen between then and God's final judgement day when Jesus returns. It is significant that Luke places this teaching as the very last public teaching of his disciples that he did.
1. Who did Jesus first observe giving? v.1
2. But then who did he see doing what? v.2
3. What did he say about her? v.3
4. How did he explain that? v.4
5. What his disciples go on to do? v.5
6. What did Jesus warn? v.6
Jesus, you will remember, is teaching in the Temple courts. As he does so, it gives him a good view of all that is going on, and so he sees that nearby is the place for bringing offerings to the Temple treasury. He observes the rich people giving and then his heart is warmed by an obviously poor lady who drops in two small coins. He takes this opportunity to teach through it.
This lady, he says, who is obviously very poor, gave considerably more than anyone else. I'm sure his listeners looked or sounded surprised at this, so he explains that all the rich people gave out of their riches and so it cost them little. She is someone who had to count every penny, and so for her those two small coins were worth an immense amount. She gave to God out of her poverty and that blessed Jesus.
A little while later, it seems, the disciples are commenting on the greatness of the temple buildings. Herod's Temple was apparently a glorious building but it had been built by an almost unbelieving king, just to impress. God is not impressed. In fact, says Jesus, every stone will soon be thrown down. In AD70 the Temple was destroyed by the Romans. It won't last, says Jesus. Don't be impressed. Get a right value system from the widow is what is implied.
1. Do we give? Is our giving sacrificial?
2. Do we have right values or are we impressed by the big and the
A. Find Out:
1. What did some of Jesus' followers ask? v.7
2. What did Jesus give as the first sign? v.8
3. What was the second thing not to be concerned about? v.9,10
4. What was the third thing that will happen? v.11
5. Yet what will happen first? v.12
6. How will that have a positive result? v.13
Many people, considering Jesus' return say “WHEN you see these things then he's about to come.” but Jesus says, “These things are a sign that I'm NOT coming!” i.e. these things will happen but they are a natural part of history of the Fallen world. Yes, they've got to happen first but THESE things aren't a sign that the end is imminent. What are the things Jesus mentions?
First there is the coming of deceivers. There will always be freaky characters who think they are the Messiah. They're not – he's coming powerfully in the clouds (v.27).
Second, there are wars and revolutions. When we're involved in such things our tendency is to hope for Jesus to come and save us out of them, but they're just a feature of the sinful world.
Third, there will natural catastrophes. Again in such a thing we want Jesus to come and take us out of them, but again they are expressions of this world that is no longer running as God originally designed it.
Fourth, and before all these other things, Jesus warned his followers that persecution would be a characteristic of their lives, and that we see clearly being worked out throughout the Acts of the Apostles. More than that, persecution has come throughout church history, right up to the present day. Consider this positively, says Jesus, but we'll consider that more in the next study.
1. While waiting for Jesus, the call is not to be afraid.
2. While waiting for Jesus, the call is to remain faithful.
Chapter: Luke 21
Passage: Luke 21:14-19
A. Find Out:
1. How does Jesus instruct them to prepare for that future? v.14
2. Why won't they need to worry? v.15
3. What do they need to realise? v.16,17
4. Yet how can they be reassured? v.18
5. How will they do what? v.19
First of all the bad news: persecution will come to believers and that may even mean that some believers are martyred (v.16). Persecution is seen in Acts 5:17-, 6:12-, 8:1-, 9:1,2, 12:1-, 13:50, 14;2-,14:19, 16:19, 17:5-, 17:13-, 18:12-, 19:23-, 20:3, 21:27-. 22:22 -, 23:12-, which also included deaths ( 7:59 ,60, 12;2). When we read Acts with this in mind we see that opposition came almost everywhere the gospel was preached.
Second, the good news, which comes in two parts: first, that Jesus promises to give us the words we'll need when it comes to defending ourselves. We can rest assured that he will give us whatever words we need and that we WILL overcome the opposing arguments. Be warned: people may have to submit to our arguments but they will still oppose us, and often with violence!
The second part is that Jesus promises that not a hair on our head will perish. How do we square that with a warning that some will be put to death? The distinction is between the words ‘death' and ‘perish'. To perish means to be utterly obliterated. Death simply means moving on into the next realm. The promise is not that we will not die in persecution, but that when we do die our eternal future is still guaranteed. We will lose NOTHING (hence not even a single hair on our head!).
This is realism in the Christian faith: opposition will come, and it may involve death – but eternity will always be ours!
1. Do I live with the assurance of eternity?
2. Do I understand opposition is part of being a Christian?
A. Find Out:
1. What then does Jesus warn will happen? v.20-23
2. What will happen until when? v.24
3. Of what further does Jesus warn? v.25
4. How will people respond? v.26
5. What will then happen? v.27
6. How should his followers view all this? v.28
In speaking of the times to come, Jesus has warned about things that will happen in history, of the persecution that will come both imminently and in the long-term, and now of the destruction of Jerusalem and of the final anguish of the earth before his return.
First, let's consider what he says about Jerusalem . It will be surrounded by enemies (v.20), its occupants should flee (v.21) for it will be punished (v.22). Many will be taken prisoner or killed (v.24) and it will be handed over to the Gentiles for a set period (v.24). In AD70 the Romans attacked and largely destroyed Jerusalem and the Jews did not have it back until the 20 th century.
Second, observe the other warnings of v.25-28. These are quite different. They involve calamities of massive proportions that will bring fear to the world (v.25,26). In the book of Revelation we find mention of such catastrophes – 6:8,12-17, 8:7-13, 9:15 ,18-21, 16:1-21 – and all these are but a prelude to the return of Christ (v.27) which will be clear and visible to the entire world. When Jesus comes again, make no mistake, he will be seen by EVERYONE!
Finally observe Jesus' call of encouragement. Quite clearly Christians will be there, going through all this, but we are to be encouraged and look up in anticipation of His coming, not afraid or dejected by all these other things happening! Rejoice, he's coming!
1. Upheavals may come but God's grace is there for Christians.
2. Upheavals indicate his coming draws near. Be encouraged!
A. Find Out:
1. What picture did Jesus give and with what point? v.29-31
2. What did he say about this generation and his words? v.32,33
3. What did he warn against? v.34,35
4. So what did he say to do? v.36
5. What was Jesus daily routine? v.37
6. What response did he get? v.38
In these verses Jesus draws to a close his explanations about the future of history. He starts these verses with a call to be watchful and he does it by means of a mini-parable. Just as you observe a fig tree and know that Summer is coming because of the sprouting leaves, you will know that my coming is drawing near when these things I've been speaking about are happening. The meaning of verse 32 is uncertain. Younger people living then certainly saw his predicted fall of Jerusalem, but the bigger picture suggests that ‘generation' simply means the human race. What he's saying is that these things are guaranteed in the history of mankind. This is how history will end.
He then gives a clear warning to avoid the temptations that will come – of dissipation (excessive indulgence in pleasure which comes when people turn to pleasure for comfort to counter tough times), drunkenness (when people use drink to forget the difficult times) and anxieties of life (which understandably will come with all these catastrophes). The temptation will be to be weighed down by these things and to become sloppy in your Christian life. Jesus' call is not only to be watchful, but also to remain faithful, pure and holy in the face of these things. They will come, these ‘natural judgements' with increasing ungodliness and the call to us is to remain faithful.
1. My call is not to worry at end times events.
2. My call is to remain faithful and true.
In this first group of 5 studies we have seen Jesus :
Jesus and his followers are meeting each day in the temple precincts, where he continues teaching. Luke takes most of this chapter up with Jesus' teaching on what will happen between then and the last day of God's judgement. The centuries ahead will be full of tumult, for so is life in a Fallen World. The end will be dramatic with Jesus return visible to the entire earth. The call is to be patient, persevering and faithful as we live through such times. It is a fitting ending to his public teaching.
1. Giving is to come from the heart.
2. Materialistic splendour will not last, only God's kingdom.
3. There will be many upheavals before Jesus returns.
4. We are called to remain faithful throughout these times.
Thank the Lord that he has said he will never leave us or forsake us (Heb 13:5) and will be there with us, whatever we're called to go through.
PART 2 : "Arrest"
In this next Part we start to move towards the awful climax of this book. Observe throughout it that Jesus is completely aware of all that is happening. He is the Lord!