Luke 21:1

ESV Jesus looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the offering box,
NIV As Jesus looked up, he saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury.
NASB Now He looked up and saw the wealthy putting their gifts into the temple treasury.
CSB He looked up and saw the rich dropping their offerings into the temple treasury.
NLT While Jesus was in the Temple, he watched the rich people dropping their gifts in the collection box.
KJV And he looked up, and saw the rich men casting their gifts into the treasury.
NKJV And He looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury,

What does Luke 21:1 mean?

Luke transitions from the ungodly religious leaders to the temple. This introduces Jesus' prophecies about the destruction of Jerusalem. Luke 20 recounted an authority struggle between Jesus and the religious leaders. Jesus overcame those challenges, then warned His audience about the unethical, exploitative behavior of the scribes (Luke 20:45–47). One of His comments is that they "devour widows' houses" (Luke 20:47).

People could put donations for the temple in one of thirteen trumpet-shaped receptacles or in the room where the treasure was kept: both in the Court of Women. Mark notes, "Many rich people put in large sums" (Mark 12:41). We don't know who "the rich" are in Luke's specific context. They may include some of the aforementioned scribes. Jesus sees a foil for them in a destitute woman who offers two small copper coins. In God's economy, her offering is greater than that of the rich because it is all she has (Luke 21:3–4). She holds nothing back, despite her need.

Luke skips the part where Jesus and the disciples leave the temple (Mark 13:1). Instead, he goes straight from talking about the temple treasury to talking about the temple, itself. Although the buildings are beautiful, they will be destroyed. That opens the conversation for Jesus to prophesy about the destruction of Jerusalem, the end times, and His return. As He often does, Jesus applies the warning with a call for His followers to be vigilant and remain faithful (Luke 21:5–36).
What is the Gospel?
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