Thirdmill Study Bible

Notes on Luke 21:5-38

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Jesus Prophesies About the Fall of Jerusalem and His Return - Luke 21:5-38

This passage can be hard because Jesus brings together two related but distinct events—the Jewish temple's destruction in A.D. 70 and the time of his return. He talks about both, because they would have been linked in the minds of his disciples and because one points to the other. Jesus began by saying the temple would be destroyed and the disciples asked when and by what sign (21:6-7). Jesus responded by warning against being led astray by false signs of the end (21:8-9). Then, Jesus explained what to expect before the end and how his disciples should live (21:10-19). In contrast, they should flee when they saw similar signs in Jerusalem (21:20-24). Next, Jesus taught about the true signs of his coming (21:25-28). Finally, Jesus assured his disciples that they would know when his return was close (21:29-33) and gave a final exhortation to persevere in watchfulness (21:34-36).

Luke 21:6

Having been expanded by Herod the Great, the temple was an impressive structure in the ancient world (see note on 1:5). stones. Herod expanded the outer walls with massive white marble slabs. offerings. Wealthy Jews would contribute gold, jewels, and or other resources to have elaborate decorations added to the temple.

Luke 21:6

stone. The huge marble slabs that surrounded the temple (see note on v. 5). torn down. Jesus predicted the destruction of the temple. Since it was such a physically impressive structure and also spiritually central to the life of Israel, this would have been unthinkable. The disciples could only imagine the temple's destruction as part of an end-time conflict as the Messiah fought against Israel's enemies.

Luke 21:7

Jesus' statement (v. 6) provoked this question by the disciples. sign. They wanted some kind of indicator to know when the temple would be destroyed. See WCF 33.3.

Luke 21:8

This is one of the most common strategies of Satan—to dupe people into following false teachers (Acts 20:29-31). This includes people who claim to be the Christ or even Jesus himself (see Acts 5:6; 21:38).

Luke 21:9

Jesus wanted his disciples to understand the destruction of the temple would not be the end (see note on v. 6). It would be a small picture of what the end will be like. wars and riots. The ancient historian Josephus recorded the grim details of General Titus' invasion of Jerusalem, just as Jesus predicted. This included the appearance of false saviors (Wars 6.281-287) and strange signs (Wars 6.288-300). the end. Though great, this destruction only pointed to a greater judgment to come on the last day.

Luke 21:10-11

Violent wars, natural disasters, and cosmological events would cause many to believe the end had come. Such images are common in Scripture passages that speak of the end (Isa. 5:11-13; 13:6-16; Hag. 2:6-7; Zech. 14:4). But these things are not the sign of Jesus' second coming. They merely reveal an anticipation of it.

Luke 21:12

Jesus' predictions (vv. 6-11) came true during the lifetime of the apostles, before the destruction of the temple. lay hands. Acts 4:3; 5:18; 12:1; 21:27. persecute. Acts 7:52-58; 8:1. synagogues. Acts 9:2; 22:19; 26:11; 2 Cor. 11:24. prisons. Acts 5:25; 8:3; 12:4-6; 16:16-24; 22:4. kings. Acts 9:15; 12:1-5; 25:13-14; 26:19. governors. Acts 23:24–24:27; 25:1–26:32. my name. The name of Jesus, which is the only name that brings salvation (Acts 4:12; 5:40-41; see Rom. 1:5; 1 Pet. 4:14; 3 John 7).

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