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Luke 21:5-19

Sunday Morning Bible Study

February 26, 2017


Do people see Jesus? Is the gospel preached? Does it address the person who is: Empty, lonely, guilty, or afraid to die?  Does it speak to the broken hearted? Does it build up the church? Milk – Meat – Manna Preach for a decision Is the church loved? Regular:  2900 words    Communion: 2500 words  Video=75wpm

Luke was a doctor and a travelling companion of the apostle Paul.

He wrote this book while Paul was in prison.

In writing this book about Jesus, Luke made use of other older documents like the Gospel of Mark, as well as extensive eyewitness accounts.

Jesus’ ministry is well under way, and the people have been amazed not just at the things He’s been teaching, but the things He’s been doing.

We are now on the homestretch of Jesus’ ministry.

Jesus is now in Jerusalem, on His way to be crucified.

Luke has reminded us of what Jesus’ main purpose was in life:

(Luke 19:10 NKJV) for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”

We saw Jesus arrive in Jerusalem on a Sunday, to the shouts of an adoring crowd, crying “Hosanna”.

The next morning, on Monday, Jesus came into the Temple and cleared out those who were ripping the people off.

He then began to teach in the Temple, as He would every day until He would be arrested.

21:5-19 Signs of His Coming pt.1

:5 Then, as some spoke of the temple, how it was adorned with beautiful stones and donations, He said,

stoneslithos – a stone

beautifulkalos – beautiful, handsome, excellent, eminent, choice, surpassing, precious, useful, suitable, commendable, admirable

donationsanathema – a gift consecrated and laid up in a temple; an offering resulting from a vow

The “e” here is a long “e” (eta), while the word below is a short “e” (epsilon)

similar toanathema – a thing set up or laid by in order to be kept; specifically, an offering resulting from a vow, which after being consecrated to a god was hung upon the walls or columns of the temple, or put in some other conspicuous place; a thing devoted to God without hope of being redeemed, and if an animal, to be slain; therefore a person or thing doomed to destruction; a man accursed, devoted to the direst of woes

fromanatithemai – to set forth (in words), communicate

adornedkosmeo – to put in order, arrange, make ready, prepare; to ornament, adore

Perfect tense

:6 “These things which you see—the days will come in which not one stone shall be left upon another that shall not be thrown down.”

:5 adorned with beautiful stones and donations

The people with Jesus were making comments as to how awesome the Temple building was.

When the exiles returned from Babylon, they rebuilt the Temple under the leadership of Zerubbabel.

Herod the Great began a project of expanding and refurbishing the Temple in 18 BC.

In Jesus’ day, the work was still going on.

The project wouldn’t actually be finished until AD 65, just a few years before it would be destroyed.

you seetheoreo – to be a spectator, look at, behold

shall be leftaphiemi – to send away; to let go, let alone, let be; to leave, go way from one

thrown downkataluo – to dissolve, disunite; (what has been joined together), to destroy, demolish

:6 not one stone shall be left upon another


What’s really important

After Jesus dealt with the people who were trying to challenge Him, as He began to teach, and the first thing He did was to stop and point out the poor widow woman who put her two coins into the Temple offering.
Jesus pointed out that this woman’s two little coins were worth more to God than all the contributions of everyone else put together.
Compared to the widow’s gift, the grand stones of the Temple didn’t seem as important because not one of them would be left standing.
Today at the Temple Mount, you can see some of those stones lying where the Romans had tossed them over when they destroyed the Temple in AD 70.
If I were to ask you who you would identify with the most, who would you say?
Do you feel like the poor widow who really doesn’t have that much to give?
Or do you feel like one of the wealthy contributors who helped underwrite the construction of a great, vast, beautiful structure?
Which one do you think is more important to God?

God doesn’t care for big glorious buildings as much as He cares for individual people.

Look at what Peter would write thirty years later…

(1 Peter 2:5 HCSB) you yourselves, as living stones, are being built into a spiritual house for a holy priesthood to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

The truly “beautiful stones” are you, the people, offering your worship to God.

Don’t think that God only cares about people who do big things.
Don’t think that your “little thing” isn’t good enough for God.
God has His eye on “little things”. Including you.
Edward Kimball taught a Sunday School class of teenagers.
One of the teens he led to Christ was Dwight Moody, who would one day reach hundreds of thousands for Jesus.
Susanna Wesley was just a mom who taught her kids about Jesus.
Yet her sons John and Charles were at the heart of a great revival, and when John died, 135,000 people had come to Christ.
We might get discouraged because we will never be a Moody or a Wesley.
God needs a few Edwards and Susannas as well.
He loves those widows putting in their two cents.
Remember what the Master will say to the faithful when He returns:
(Matthew 25:21 NKJV) His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’

Don’t despise the days of small things.

God cares about what you do, even if it’s not noticed by others.

:7 So they asked Him, saying, “Teacher, but when will these things be? And what sign will there be when these things are about to take place?”

:7 when these things are about to take place?

signsemeion – a sign, mark, token; of signs portending remarkable events soon to happen

The things Jesus will share are partially fulfilled with the coming destruction of the Temple, but completely fulfilled at His Second Coming.

Luke can make it sound as if Jesus is talking about the things leading up to the destruction of the Temple, and there is partial truth to that.

Some of the things Jesus will share have a “double fulfillment” (not uncommon in prophecy), and will be a picture of the coming destruction of this particular Temple in Jerusalem.

Yet Jesus also makes it clear that these will be signs also of His Second Coming.

Matthew records the disciples saying,

(Matthew 24:3 NKJV) Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”

:8 And He said: “Take heed that you not be deceived. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am He,’ and, ‘The time has drawn near.’ Therefore do not go after them.

Take heedblepo – to see, discern, of the bodily eye; to discern mentally, observe, perceive, discover, understand

be deceivedplanao – to cause to stray, to lead astray, lead aside from the right way

go poreuomai – to lead over, carry over, transfer

afteropiso – back, behind, after, afterwards

:8 saying, ‘I am He

Literally, “saying, ‘I am’”

When God told Moses that His name was Yahweh, God also said to tell the people that “I Am” had sent Moses.  “Yahweh” means “the becoming one”, the eternal “I am”.
In the Greek, Jesus uses ego eimi, which is often used by John in His gospel as a reference to God’s name Yahweh.

There will be people from time to time who will claim to be the Messiah.  This is nothing new.

Video:  Jose Luis de Jesus Miranda claims to be Anti-Christ and Jesus
Jesus said to not go after people like this.  When Jesus returns, He won’t have to convince anyone who He is, it will be completely obvious.

:9 But when you hear of wars and commotions, do not be terrified; for these things must come to pass first, but the end will not come immediately.”

warspolemos – a war; a fight, a battle; a dispute, strife, quarrel

commotionsakatastasia – instability, a state of disorder, disturbance, confusion

endtelos – end; termination, the limit at which a thing ceases to be; (always of the end of some act or state, but not of the end of a period of time)

:9 wars and commotions

Wars and disorder are nothing new.  Jesus said they must first come to pass.

:9 do not be terrified

be terrifiedptoeo – to terrify; be terrified; to agitate with fear

The study of prophecy is not meant to cause you terror, but to prepare you for what’s up ahead.

:10 Then He said to them, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.

:10 Nation will rise against nation

will riseegeiro – to arouse, cause to rise; to raise up, stir up, against one

nationethnos – a multitude (whether of men or of beasts) associated or  living together; a multitude of individuals of the same nature or genus; a tribe, nation, people group; in the OT, foreign nations not worshipping the true God, pagans, Gentiles

The word “nation” could refer to tribes, nations, or people groups.

The word for “kingdom” is more strictly political.

kingdombasileia – royal power, kingship, dominion, rule; a kingdom, the territory subject to the rule of a king

:11 And there will be great earthquakes in various places, and famines and pestilences; and there will be fearful sights and great signs from heaven.

Lots of scary things happening.

:11 great earthquakes in various places

earthquakesseismos – a shaking, a commotion; a tempest; an earthquake

greatmegas – great

various placestopos – place, any portion or space marked off, as it were from surrounding space

I have an app on my phone that tells me about earthquakes all over the world.

Earthquakes sure seem to shake us up and remind us that Jesus is coming back.

:11 famines and pestilences

famineslimos – scarcity of harvest, famine

pestilencesloimos – pestilence; a pestilent fellow, pest, plague

We have not yet solved the problems of famine and disease in our world.  These problems will continue until Jesus returns.

:11 fearful sights and great signs from heaven

fearful sightsphobetron – that which strikes terror, a terror, (cause of) fright

signssemeion – a sign, mark, token; of signs portending remarkable events soon to happen

greatmegas – great

:12 But before all these things, they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons. You will be brought before kings and rulers for My name’s sake.

:12 lay their hands on you and persecute you

they will layepiballo – to cast upon, to lay upon; used of seizing one to lead him off as a prisoner

persecutedioko – to make to run or flee, put to flight, drive away; to run swiftly in order to catch a person or thing, to run after; in any way whatever to harass, trouble, molest one; to persecute

deliveringparadidomi – to give into the hands (of another); to deliver up one to custody, to be judged, condemned, punished, scourged, tormented, put to death; to deliver up treacherously; by betrayal to cause one to be taken

prisonsphulake – guard, watch; of the place where captives are kept, a prison

Jesus is warning His followers of the persecution that is coming.

The church has been persecuted from the time of Jesus.

You could make a case that persecution against Christians has been picking up, especially in Muslim countries.

:12 brought before kings and rulers

rulershegemon – a leader of any kind, a guide, ruler, prefect, president, chief, general, commander, sovereign

:13 But it will turn out for you as an occasion for testimony.

:13 an occasion for testimony

it will turn outapobaino – to come down from, i.e. a ship; to turn out, result, to be the outcome

an occasion for testimonymarturion – testimony

:14 Therefore settle it in your hearts not to meditate beforehand on what you will answer;

:14 not to meditate beforehand on what you will answer

settletithemi – to set, put, place

meditate – from meletao –the practice of orators to meditate and ponder carefully before they would give a speech.

beforehandpromeletao – to meditate beforehand
from – meletao –to care for, attend to carefully, practice; to meditate i.e. to devise, contrive; used of the Greeks of the meditative pondering and the practice of orators and rhetoricians
frommelo – to care about

what you will answerapologeomai (“apologetics”) – to defend one’s self

I’ve heard preachers use this as an excuse not to study for their message on Sunday.

Jesus is not talking about a Sunday morning message, but a defense for your life before someone throws you into prison.

It is important to know why you believe what you believe. Peter wrote,

(1 Peter 3:15 NKJV) …and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear;

Yet Jesus is talking about persecution when you don’t have the opportunity to prepare a three-point sermon.

It’s in times like this that God may want to work through you and give you fresh words to say.

:15 for I will give you a mouth and wisdom which all your adversaries will not be able to contradict or resist.

:15 I will give you a mouth and wisdom

mouthstoma – the mouth, as part of the body: of man, of animals, of fish, etc.

wisdomsophia – wisdom, broad and full of intelligence; used of the knowledge of very diverse matters

be abledunamai – to be able, have power; to be capable, strong and powerful

contradictantilego (“against” + “to speak”) – to speak against, gainsay, contradict

resistantikeimai (“against” + “to lie”) – to be set over against, opposite to; to oppose, be adverse to, withstand


Difficult Witness

An atheist
A young woman teacher with obvious liberal tendencies explains to her class of small children that she is an atheist. She asks her class if they are atheists too. Not really knowing what atheism is but wanting to be like their teacher, their hands explode into the air like fleshy fireworks. There is, however, one exception. A beautiful girl named Lucy has not gone along with the crowd. The teacher asks her why she has decided to be different. “Because I’m not an atheist.” Then, asks the teacher, what are you? “I’m a Christian.” The teacher is a little perturbed now, her face slightly red. She asks Lucy why she is a Christian. “Well, I was brought up knowing and loving Jesus. My mom is a Christian, and my dad is a Christian, so I am a Christian.” The teacher is now angry. “That’s no reason,” she says loudly. “What if your mom was a moron, and your dad was a moron. What would you be then?” A pause, and a smile…. “Then,” says Lucy, “I’d be an atheist.”
Stephen was one of the first “deacons” in the early church.
His early ministry consisted of helping with the food distribution to the widows in the church.
Stephen’s ministry went beyond waiting on tables though.

(Acts 6:8–10 NKJV) —8 And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and signs among the people. 9 Then there arose some from what is called the Synagogue of the Freedmen (Cyrenians, Alexandrians, and those from Cilicia and Asia), disputing with Stephen. 10 And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the Spirit by which he spoke.

One of the people likely to have been in that Synagogue was a man from Cilicia named Saul of Tarsus.

Stephen would be arrested and put on trial before the Sanhedrin.

His amazing defense about Jesus is recorded in Acts 7.

When he finished his defense, the religious leaders were so angry, they had Stephen stoned to death.

A young man named Saul watched and heard the entire thing.

Stephen is famous as the first “martyr” to die for his faith.

Yet he started with helping with the food outreach at church.

We think that Stephen’s words, and the way he died had a lasting impact on Saul, getting him ready to meet Jesus face to face.  We know Saul today as the apostle Paul.

The Scripture that says it is your “Father” or the “Spirit” speaking?
(Mark 13:11 NKJV) But when they arrest you and deliver you up, do not worry beforehand, or premeditate what you will speak. But whatever is given you in that hour, speak that; for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit.
Jesus has already said something similar earlier in His ministry.
(Luke 12:11–12 NKJV) —11 “Now when they bring you to the synagogues and magistrates and authorities, do not worry about how or what you should answer, or what you should say. 12 For the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.”
One of the strangest battles ever took place in the time of Gideon.
God had called Gideon to rid the nation of Israel from the marauding Midianites.  Every year the Midianites would show up at harvest time and steal all the harvest from the hard-working Israelites.
The battle strategy that God gave Gideon would only work if Gideon had the smallest of armies to face the 135,000 Midianites.  Gideon was to only have an army of 300 men.
The battle plan involved giving a trumpet, a jar, and a torch to each of Gideon’s men.
They were to put their lit torches inside the jars, and surround the vast Midianite army at night.

When the signal was given, Gideon’s men were to blow their trumpets, break the jars, and shout “The sword of the Lord and of Gideon!” (Judg. 7:20)

(Judges 7:20 NKJV) Then the three companies blew the trumpets and broke the pitchers—they held the torches in their left hands and the trumpets in their right hands for blowing—and they cried, “The sword of the Lord and of Gideon!”

The strategy involved getting the enemies’ attention, broken clay pots, and a message.

When this happened, the Midianite army thought they were surrounded by a bigger army, and they all started killing each other.

God gave a great victory with very little.

Paul talked about what happens in our lives when we go through difficulty, and how God will use our difficulty to impact others.
Paul likens us to “clay pots” with a treasure inside, the treasure is the light of God.
(2 Corinthians 4:6–12 NKJV) —6 For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. 8 We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed—10 always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. 11 For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. 12 So then death is working in us, but life in you.
God gets the attention of the people around us when are clay pots are being broken.
People don’t often see the light inside of us until our lives are broken in difficult times.
It’s when we are trusting in Jesus in the midst of great difficulty that the truth of the message about Jesus is heard.
We may be experiencing “death” in our difficulties, but God can use it to work “life” in those around us.
The date was February 23 AD 155, and the persecution against Christians swept across the Roman Empire and came to the city of Smyrna. The governor of Symrna put out an order that the Bishop of Symrna, Polycarp, was to be found, arrested, and brought to the public arena for execution. They found Polycarp and brought him before thousands of spectators screaming for blood. But the governor had compassion on this man who was almost a hundred years old. He signaled the crowd to silence. To Polycarp he said, “Curse the Christ and live.” The crowd waited for the old man to answer. In an amazingly strong voice, he said, “Eighty and six years have I served him, and he has done me no wrong. How dare I blaspheme the name of my king and Lord!” With that, they burned him alive.
In the account of his death, it was recorded,

the whole crowd marveled that there was such a difference between the unbelievers and the elect[1]

The difficult times you may be going through will be opportunities for God’s light to shine through.
God may give you a word to those around you as they watch you handle your difficulty.

:16 You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers, relatives and friends; and they will put some of you to death.

:16 betrayed even by parents and brothers

You will be betrayedparadidomi – to give into the hands (of another); to deliver up one to custody, to be judged, condemned, punished, scourged, tormented, put to death; to deliver up treacherously; by betrayal to cause one to be taken

Same word was translated “delivering” in verse 12.

parentsgoneus – fathers, parent, the parents

relativessuggenes – of the same kin, akin to, related by blood; in a wider sense, of the same nation, a fellow countryman

friendsphilos – friend, to be friendly to one, wish him well

brothersadelphos – a brother

put … to deaththanatoo – to put to death

The word “betrayed” is the same word translated “delivering” in verse 12:

(Luke 21:12 NKJV) …they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons…

It’s one thing when a school teacher or a boss gives you grief for being a Christian, but Jesus said that even those closest to you may at times turn against you because you are following Jesus.

Some of you know what this is like.  When you made a choice to follow Jesus, you’ve found that some family members weren’t all that excited.
It’s important to note that this isn’t talking about people giving you grief because of a family dispute, or stupid thing you did.
Peter wrote,
(1 Peter 4:14–16 NKJV) —14 If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified. 15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or as a busybody in other people’s matters. 16 Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter.

Peter is acknowledging that sometimes we “suffer” because we’re jerks (vs. 15).  We can do things to hurt others and when we do, there is nothing “blessed” with our suffering.

:17 And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake.

hatedmiseo – to hate, pursue with hatred, detest; to be hated, detested

:17 you will be hated by all for My name’s sake

I have to admit that I prefer people liking me over people hating me.

Yet sometimes as I am following Jesus, I will find certain people hating me because of my relationship with Jesus and how Jesus is working in my life.

I’m not talking about people hating me because I have done something stupid or something mean.
I’m talking about people hating me because I am following Jesus.

Jesus said,

(John 15:18 NKJV) “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you.

:18 But not a hair of your head shall be lost.

:18 not a hair of your head shall be lost

hairthrix – the hair of the head; the hair of animals

shall be lostapollumi – to destroy; to perish, to be lost, ruined, destroyed

This might look like a promise of invincibility, as if following Jesus means that bullets will bounce off you.

The promise is that this doesn’t fit the reality.

Peter would one day be crucified upside down.
Paul would one day be killed with a sword.

I think this is a promise of eternal life.

They may kill the body, but they can’t kill your soul.
In heaven, you will have all your hairs.
For some of you, that means you’ll gain some of those you’ve already lost.

:19 By your patience possess your souls.

:19 By your patience possess your souls

patiencehupomone (“under” + “to remain”) – steadfastness, constancy, endurance

It’s the characteristic of the person who does not stop doing what is right despite the greatest trials and suffering.

possessktaomai – to acquire, get, or procure a thing for one’s self, to possess

soulspsuche – breath; the soul


Keep Going

Sometimes it seems like troubles are constantly chasing you.
Video:  Energizer Bunny – Hound Chase 1993
Sometimes there are people in your life who cause nothing but trouble.
Video:  Energizer Bunny – Boris and Natasha 1995

They say one way to defeat your enemies is to simply outlast them.

Or this.
Video:  Energizer Bunny – Coyote 1994
The key to life is to keep going.  And you will need more than just an Energizer battery.
This may be a word that is eventually intended for those who will find themselves following Jesus during the Great Tribulation.
I believe the soon unexpected Rapture of the Church will remove believers from the earth to be with Jesus before the horrible time of God’s judgment known as the Tribulation.
Yet after we are gone, there will be people who will realize that they need to follow Jesus.

There will be a group of 144,000 Jewish evangelists raised up to preach the gospel.

When a person chooses to follow Jesus during the Tribulation, life will be hard.

They will be persecuted like no other time in history.

The Bible speaks of believers during that time being beheaded for their faith.

The temptation will be to quit following Jesus.

Though Jesus may be ultimately addressing those who come to Christ during the Tribulation, encouraging them to endure, the words apply to us as well.
Jesus is saying you will “possess” your soul if you endure.
In contrast, if you quit on Jesus, you will “lose” your soul.
Theologians call this doctrine the “perseverance of the saints”.

Some will choose to look at this doctrine and say, “If you are part of God’s chosen, then you will automatically endure to the end.”

I prefer to look at it as a choice.

I don’t want to lose my soul, so I will choose to persevere, to endure.

The early church faced this challenge to endure, to keep going.
The letter of Hebrews was written to Jewish believers who were tempted to quit following Jesus and just hide back in Judaism.
(Hebrews 3:12–14 NKJV) —12 Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; 13 but exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. 14 For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end,
(Hebrews 12:1–3 NKJV) —1 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls.

Jesus had a race to run in life.  His goal was to make it to the cross and lay down His life for us.

He did this out of love for us, in order to pay for our sins so we might be forgiven and live with Him forever in heaven.

When we keep our eyes on Jesus, we too can learn to endure to the very end.

Sometimes we just feel like we “can’t do this” anymore.
We get discouraged when we lose sight of the bigger purpose of our lives.
Video:  LOTR – I can’t do this Sam
What do we keep fighting for?

We too have a “great story” that we follow.  The greatest story is about what Jesus has done for us.

We have a great story or plan for our lives as well, and it requires us to keep going.

God isn’t finished with this world yet.  Jesus still has people who need to be saved.

(Luke 19:10 NKJV) for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”

We endure in order to see God’s work continue on this planet.

[1] Glimm, F. X. (1947). The Martyrdom of St. Polycarp. In F. X. Glimm, J. M.-F. Marique, & G. G. Walsh (Trans.), The Apostolic Fathers (Vol. 1, p. 159). Washington, DC: The Catholic University of America Press.