Luke chapter 21

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What does Luke chapter 21 mean?

Luke 21 records the last of Jesus' teachings before the Last Supper, His arrest, and His crucifixion.

Luke 21:1–4 would easily fit with the contents of chapter 20: Jesus' claims of authority among the religious leaders. The poor widow is a foil for the scribes in Luke 20:45–47. The widow gives to the temple treasury with no fanfare; the scribes dress for the attention they crave. The widow gives her last two copper coins; the scribes engage in unfair business practices and "devour widows' houses" (Luke 20:47). By condemning the scribes and praising the widow, Jesus claims authority over the religious leaders and their expectations, values, and traditions.

Luke 21:5–6 begins Jesus' prophecies about the coming days and the end times. This group of prophecies is primarily oriented toward the Jews although some events will also affect Gentiles. The disciples comment on the majesty of the temple. Jesus tells them the temple will be destroyed.

Luke 21:7–11 continues Jesus' prophecies. The disciples ask for signs of the impending destruction of the temple; Jesus responds first with a sampling of the deceit and disasters that will come upon the world during the church age.

In Luke 21:12–19, Jesus backtracks and describes what His disciples will face as they build the church.

In Luke 21:20–24, Jesus gives more details about the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70. Matthew and Mark word this as a double prophecy which also refers to events during the tribulation. Luke is more deliberate about drawing a distinction between the two events.

Luke 21:25–28 describes Jesus' second coming at the end of the tribulation.

In Luke 21:29–33, Jesus applies the disciples' question about the signs of the fall of Jerusalem to His second coming. If they pay attention, the timing of the return of the Son of Man will be obvious.

Luke 21:34–36 explains what Jesus' followers should do in the meantime: avoid anything that impairs judgment, be prepared, and pray that God will bring deliverance from the horrors to come.

Luke 21:37–38 is an aside explaining that since the triumphal entry Jesus has slept on the Mount of Olives at night and taught at the temple during the day. This flows into Luke 22:1–6, which explains that chief priests and scribes have been trying to kill Jesus. They can't because He spends His days at the temple, teaching crowds of people, but Judas provides a solution. The rest of Luke 22 gives the account of the Last Supper and Jesus' betrayal, arrest, and trial before the Sanhedrin.
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