Darby's Bible Synopsis
And he looked up, and saw the rich men casting their gifts into the treasury.
The Lord's discourse in chapter 21 displays the character of the Gospel in a peculiar manner. The spirit of grace, in contrast with the Judaic spirit, is seen in the account of the poor widow's offering. But the Lord's prophecy requires more detailed notice. Verse 6 (Luke 21:9), as we saw at the end of chapter 19, speaks only of the destruction of Jerusalem as she then stood. This is true also of the disciples' question. They say nothing of the end of the age. The Lord afterwards enters upon the duties and the circumstances of His disciples previous to that hour. In Verse 8 (Luke 21:8) it is said, "The time draweth near," which is not found in Matthew. He goes much more into detail with regard to their ministry during that period, encourages them, promises them necessary help. Persecution should turn to them for a testimony. From the middle of Verse 11 to the end of Verse 19 (Luke 21:11-19) we have details relative to His disciples, that are not found in the corresponding passage of Matthew. They present the general state of things in the same sense, adding the condition of the Jews, of those especially who, more or less, professedly received the word. The whole stream of testimony, as rendered in connection with Israel, but extending to the nations, is found in Matthew to the end of Verse 14 (Luke 21:14). In Luke it is the coming service of the disciples, until the moment when the judgment of God should put an end to that which was virtually terminated by the rejection of Christ. Consequently the Lord says nothing in Verse 20 (Luke 21:20) of the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel, but gives the fact of the siege of Jerusalem, and its then approaching desolation not the end of the age, as in Matthew. These were the days of vengeance on the Jews, who had crowned their rebellion by rejecting the Lord. Therefore Jerusalem should be trodden down by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles were fulfilled, that is, the times destined to the sovereignty of the Gentile empires according to the counsel of God revealed in the prophecies of Daniel. This is the period in which we now live. There is a break here in the discourse. Its principal subject is ended; but there are still some events of the last scene to be revealed, which close the history of this Gentile supremacy.
We shall see also that, although it is the commencement of the judgment, from which Jerusalem will not arise until all is accomplished and the song of Isaiah 40 is addressed to her, nevertheless, the great tribulation is not mentioned here. There is great distress, and wrath upon the people, as was indeed the case in the siege of Jerusalem by Titus; and the Jews were also led away captive. Neither is it said, "Immediately after the tribulation of those days." Nevertheless, without designating the epoch, but after having spoken of the times of the Gentiles, the end of the age comes. There are signs in heaven, distress on earth, a mighty movement in the waves of human population. The heart of man, moved by a prophetic alarm, foresees the calamities which, still unknown, are threatening him; for all the influences that govern men are shaken. Then shall they see the Son of man, once rejected from the earth, coming from heaven with the ensigns of Jehovah, with power and great glory the Son of man, of whom this Gospel has always spoken. There the prophecy ends. We have not here the gathering together of the elect Israelites, who had been dispersed, of which Matthew speaks.
That which follows consists of exhortations, in order that the day of distress may be a token of deliverance to the faith of those who, trusting in the Lord, obey the voice of His servant. The "generation" (a word already explained when considering Matthew) should not pass away till all was fulfilled. The length of the time that has elapsed since then, and that must elapse until the end, is left in darkness. Heavenly things are not measured by dates. Moreover that moment is hidden in the knowledge of the Father. Still heaven and earth should pass away, but not the words of Jesus. He then tells them that, as dwelling on earth, they must be watchful, lest their own hearts should be overcharged with things that would sink them into this world, in the midst of which they were to be witnesses. For that day would come as a snare upon all those who had their dwelling here, who were rooted here. They were to watch and pray, in order to escape all those things, and to stand in the presence of the Son of man. This is still the great subject of our Gospel. To be with Him, as those who have escaped from the earth, to be among the 144,000 on Mount Zion, will be an accomplishment of this blessing, but the place is not named; so that, supposing the faithfulness of those whom He was personally addressing, the hope awakened by His words would be fulfilled in a more excellent manner in His heavenly presence in the day of glory.
And he saw also a certain poor widow casting in thither two mites.
And he said, Of a truth I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast in more than they all:
For all these have of their abundance cast in unto the offerings of God: but she of her penury hath cast in all the living that she had.
And as some spake of the temple, how it was adorned with goodly stones and gifts, he said,
As for these things which ye behold, the days will come, in the which there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.
And they asked him, saying, Master, but when shall these things be? and what sign will there be when these things shall come to pass?
And he said, Take heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and the time draweth near: go ye not therefore after them.
But when ye shall hear of wars and commotions, be not terrified: for these things must first come to pass; but the end is not by and by.
Then said he unto them, Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom:
And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven.
But before all these, they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues, and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for my name's sake.
And it shall turn to you for a testimony.
Settle it therefore in your hearts, not to meditate before what ye shall answer:
For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist.
And ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends; and some of you shall they cause to be put to death.
And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake.
But there shall not an hair of your head perish.
In your patience possess ye your souls.
And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh.
Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto.
For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.
But woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in those days! for there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people.
And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.
And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring;
Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.
And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.
And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.
And he spake to them a parable; Behold the fig tree, and all the trees;
When they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand.
So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand.
Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled.
Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.
And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares.
For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth.
Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.
And in the day time he was teaching in the temple; and at night he went out, and abode in the mount that is called the mount of Olives.
And all the people came early in the morning to him in the temple, for to hear him.