Gaebelein's Annotated Bible
And he looked up, and saw the rich men casting their gifts into the treasury.CHAPTER 21
1. The Widow’s Mite. (Luke 21:1-4) 2. The Destruction of the Temple Predicted. (Luke 21:5-6) 3. The Disciple’s Question Concerning the Future. (Luke 21:7) 4. Things to Come. (Luke 21:8-19) 5. The Destruction of Jerusalem and the World-wide Dispersion of Israel. (Luke 21:20-24) 6. The Return of the Lord with Power and Great Glory. (Luke 21:25-28) 7. The Fig Tree and Warnings. (Luke 21:29-38.)
2. The Destruction of the Temple Predicted. (Luke 21:5-6)
3. The Disciple’s Question Concerning the Future. (Luke 21:7)
4. Things to Come. (Luke 21:8-19)
5. The Destruction of Jerusalem and the World-wide Dispersion of Israel. (Luke 21:20-24)
6. The Return of the Lord with Power and Great Glory. (Luke 21:25-28)
7. The Fig Tree and Warnings. (Luke 21:29-38.)
This entire chapter with the exception of the incident of the widow’s mite is prophetic. Luke’s account however differs in many ways from the account given of the prophetic Olivet discourse in Matthew and also that in Mark. Matthew gives the Olivet discourse in its completest form. (See Matthew 24:1-51; Matthew 25:1-46.) He reports what the Lord had to say concerning the end of the age, the great tribulation, which concerns the Jewish believers living at that time; then in three parables He revealed the moral conditions existing in Christendom and how He will deal with them and finally He revealed, as reported by Matthew, the judgment of the Gentile nations.
The characteristic feature of Luke’s report is that he has little to say about the details of the end of the age, such as the great tribulation and what will take place during that period of time (Matthew 24:4-42). Instead of this he was led by the Spirit of God to record in the fullest way what our Lord had said concerning the fall of Jerusalem, the fate of Jerusalem, the dispersion of the nation and the duration of all this. The Lord announced that Jerusalem would be compassed by armies and that days of vengeance would come. (Luke 21:20-23.) There would then be great distress in the land and wrath upon this people.
This great prophecy was fulfilled in the year 70 A.D., when the Romans besieged Jerusalem and a million perished, besides 100,000 who were made slaves. It is one of the most awful pages in human history. So has Luke 21:24 been fulfilled. The Jewish nation has been scattered among all the nations; Jerusalem has been trodden down by the Gentiles and is still in that state. But the times of the Gentiles will be fulfilled in the future and when that comes, deliverance and restoration for Jerusalem and the nation are promised. Luke significantly tells us about the fig tree, “and all the trees.” (Luke 21:29.) They are to shoot forth and that would be a sign of His Return. The fig tree is Israel. Who are the other trees? Other nations, who are to see a revival before the Lord comes, such as the centers of the Roman empire, Italy, Greece and Egypt. Israel and these other nations indeed “shoot forth”; from this we are to learn that great events in connection with the Kingdom of God are at hand. May we also heed the warnings with which this chapter closes.