Luke 21:5


1. Distribution of prophetic intimations. Great diversity of opinion prevails in regard to the predictio

Adorned with goodly stones and gifts.
I. THE CIRCUMSTANCES UNDER WHICH CHRIST UTTERED THESE WORDS. Every attentive reader of Holy Scripture must have remarked this fact, in the history of the Bible, viz., that whenever and wheresoever God revealed His choice of a spot among the sons of men, to "place His Name there" — where He might be especially present with them, to receive their worship, and to bestow on them His blessing — that spot was always directed and made to be as great a contrast, and as much superior as possible to all other places in which men ordinarily abode. But all this, as the same attentive reading of Holy Scripture must also convince us, was immediately directed to its own great and specific objects. It was designed by God to lead their thoughts upward to Himself. The temple had been a great probationary blessing to the Jews; it had been ordained of old by God, for the advancement of their essential and everlasting good; and it was now foredoomed to such ruin and desolation, that "there should not be left in it one stone upon another, which should not be thrown down," only because of the way in which they had abused their privileges, trampled on their mercies, and forgotten the covenant while they walked in the very presence of their God.


1. These words of our Lord give no sort of encouragement to the notion which has often prevailed, and has been much repeated in our days, of its being utterly immaterial what kind of fabric we dedicate to the Most High; that all must be alike to Him, and the meanest sufficiently acceptable in His sight; inasmuch as "He dwelleth not in temples made with hands," and can be as well honoured within walls of clay, as beneath the stateliest roof that ever was raised by man. When men live, according to their respective degrees, in a state which God has prospered — dwelling, if not, like David, in "houses of cedar," at least in those of competence and comfort — it is not for them to suffer the "Ark of God to remain within curtains"; and though to the wanderer in the desert, or the colonist in his new settlement, the best tent or cot he could procure might be meet for the service of his God, yet it is not so for a society of Englishmen, dwelling in the very bosom of their highly favoured country and Church. How far are we using our Redeemer's sanctuary upon earth, in such a manner as that, when this fails, we may be received into "a building of God; a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens" We must not forget the possibility there is that we might be walking in the judicial blindness of Israel, whilst we are possessed of all the light, and all the means of grace, with which the Christian Church is entrusted.

(J. Puckle.)

Is there any one Christian, however austere, who, on entering the body of our cathedral not for the first time but the twentieth, and allowing his eye to wander along its avenue of columns, or into the depth at once so mysterious and so impressive, of the distant choir; or towards those arches, at once light and bold, which, like a vigorous vegetation on each pilaster, throw out and intertwine their stems at the centre — is there any one who has not said to himself, How beautiful this is! what harmony! what unison among all these stones! what music in this architecture! what poetry in this edifice! Those who reared it are dead, but though dead they still speak to us; and their conception, full of adoration, their conception, a species of prayer, is so united to their work, that we think we feel it and breathe it as we advance within these walls which carry us over a vista of ages. Such is our feeling; and if we are not alone, we can scarcely help giving it utterance. Thus, doing: what the disciples did when they exclaimed, What stones! what buildings! might we not hater ourselves addressed by our Lord in words of reproof, "Is it this you are looking at?" And why should we not be reproved if our soul goes no farther than our eye, if it stops where our eye is obliged to stop; if symbols, appearances, visible things, hold it captive; ii the splendours of art chain down our heart to the earth instead of raising it to heaven? This is the censure which Jesus Christ passes on His disciples. He had looked into their souls, and there detected that lust of the flesh, that lust of the eye, and that pride of life, which are the three connecting chains by which the enemy of God links us closely to outer darkness. The man and the Jew were equally revealed in that involuntary exclamation; man, dazzled by whatever is seen, and filled with contempt for what is not seen; the Jew, proud of the exterior pomp of a worship, the deep meaning and internal idea of which had long escaped him, and attaching himself obstinately to the law — in other words, a shadow, at the very moment when this law was more than ever a shadow. Is it this you are looking at? What! these few grains of dust, which are large only because you are little? What! these gifts extorted by fear, vanity, and custom, from individuals who refused to begin by giving themselves to God? What! the gorgeous falsehood of these marbles and gildings, of all those ornaments, the pious import of which has long since been forgotten? Is it this you are looking at?

(A. Vinet, D. D.)

Christianity has taken a form in the world; it has become visible. Travelling over ages, and propagating itself in the world, it has assumed a place among the things to which the world pays regard; and besides this grandeur of space and duration which procures it a species of respect on the part of the most indifferent, it has, by its intellectual grandeur (I mean by the grandeur of the ideas which it expresses, and those which it suggests), captivated the regard and admiration of thinkers. Thus is it great after the fashion of the world. Beware of admiring it most of all for that grandeur. Let us fear lest its true grandeur escape our notice. Let us not allow our eye to be misled, and oblige Jesus Christ to say to us again, "Is it this you are looking at?" How great our misfortune if we should have entered the empire of the invisible only to link ourselves more securely to the visible, and if in the kingdom of spirit we should have been able only to find the world! How miserable, if trusting to those vain and hollow words, "The temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord," we should neglect, as the prophet says in the same place, thoroughly to amend our ways and our doings (Jeremiah 7:4, 5). To look only to this twofold greatness of Christianity, the material and intellectual, is truly to do like the first companions of Jesus Christ, to fix our look upon stones. "fast thoughts, secular traditions, splendid recollections, all these are stones; cold materials, hard and dead. There are other stones, living stones, which form together a spiritual building, a holy priesthood (1 Peter 2:5).

(A. Vinet, D. D.)

1. That sin has laid the foundation of ruin in the most flourishing cities and kingdoms; Jerusalem, the glory of the world, is here by sin threatened to be made a desolation.

2. "That the threatenings of God are to be feared, and shalt be fulfilled, whatever appearing improbabilities there may be to the contrary. It is neither the temple's strength, nor beauty, that can oppose or withstand God's power.

(W. Burkitt.)

With this scene before them they must have found it harder still to acquiesce in the thought of the destruction of the city and temple. But the prediction of their overthrow contained an important lesson for the disciples and for us. It is this —

I. INSTITUTIONS AND SYSTEMS OF RELIGION OPPOSED TO CHRIST, HOWEVER STRONG AND SPLENDID THEY MAY APPEAR, ARE DOOMED TO DESTRUCTION. They have no guarantee for their continuance and perpetuity in the splendour and massive strength of their temples, Error is weak and on the road to downfall, no matter how strong it looks, and truth is strong and on the way to victory, no matter how weak and insignificant it appears. Other religions besides Judaism have illustrated these truths. It was thus with the ancient Greek and Roman religions. When Paul went to Ephesus, where the goddess Diana was worshipped, her temple so magnificent and stately was regarded as one of the seven wonders of the world. What was thus witnessed in the ancient world, wherever and whenever its religions came in contact and conflict with Christianity, is repeated in every age. It is being witnessed to-day in Japan and in India where long-established systems of religion, with imposing rites and magnificent temples, are gradually being undermined by the influence of the gospel. The splendid and massive structures in which those religions have been enshrined have no power to preserve them. They are crumbling before the preaching of the Cross. They belong to those transitory "human things," whose fate a brilliant English historian compares to that of icebergs drifting southward out of the frozen seas. So long as the equilibrium is sustained you would think they were stable as the rocks. But the sea-water is warmer than the air. Hundreds of fathoms down the tepid current washes the base of the berg. Silently in those far deeps the centre of gravity is changed, and then, in a moment, with one vast roll, the enormous mass heaves over, and the crystal peaks which had been glancing so proudly in the sunlight are buried in the ocean for ever."

II. THE DISCIPLES OF CHRIST ARE TO EXPECT AND BE ON THEIR GUARD AGAINST IMPOSTORS AND FALSE CHRISTS. "Many shall come in My name, saying, I am Christ, and shall deceive many." The liability to be deceived by such impostors exists in all men. For in the souls of all there is an expectation of, or longing for, a mighty deliverer like the Messiah of the prophets. If Jesus is rejected, or not confidently believed in as the true Christ, some false Christ is likely to win their faith and lead astray.

III. JESUS TEACHES HIS DISCIPLES THAT BEFORE HIS RELIGION FINALLY TRIUMPHS THEY MUST HEAR AND SUFFER AND WITNESS MANY DREADFUL AND DISTRESSING THINGS AS INCIDENTS IN ITS CONQUEST OF THE WORLD. "Ye shall hear," he said, "of wars and rumours of wars... Nation shall rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom; there shall be earthquakes in divers places; there shall be famines... They shall deliver you up to councils; and in synagogues ye shall be beaten; and before governors and kings shall ye stand for My sake for a testimony unto them." But the fearful prophecy was mingled with words that spanned the dark cloud with a rainbow of hope. "Be not troubled," He said; "these things must needs come to pass... these things are the beginning of travail." "They must needs come to pass," because they were the inevitable consequences of sin — the retribution long delayed but steadily accumulating, for the sins of the nation in the past.


Jesus, Disciples
Jerusalem, Judea, Olivet
Adorned, Beautiful, Consecrated, Decorated, Dedicated, Devoted, Embellished, Fair, Gifts, Goodly, Noble, Offerings, Remarking, Saying, Spake, Spoke, Stones, Talking, Temple, Votive
1. Jesus commends the poor widow.
5. He foretells the destruction of the temple, and of the city Jerusalem;
25. the signs also which shall be before the last day.
34. He exhorts them to be watchful.

Dictionary of Bible Themes
Luke 21:5

     4040   beauty
     5399   luxury
     7402   offerings
     8223   dedication

Luke 21:1-6

     7469   temple, Herod's

Luke 21:5-6

     1424   predictions
     2363   Christ, preaching and teaching
     4366   stones

June 3 Morning
Watch, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.--MATT. 25:13. 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.
Anonymous—Daily Light on the Daily Path

Sunday after Ascension Day
Text: First Peter 4, 7-11.[1] 7 But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore of sound mind, and be sober unto prayer: 8 above all things being fervent in your love among yourselves: for love covereth a multitude of sins: 9 using hospitality one to another without murmuring: 10 according as each hath received a gift, ministering it among yourselves, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God; 11 if any man speaketh, speaking as it were oracles of God; if any man ministereth, ministering
Martin Luther—Epistle Sermons, Vol. II

When Shall These Things Be?
'And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. 21. Then let them which are in Judea 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. 22. For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may he fulfilled. 23. 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,
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions Of Holy Scripture

The Nearness of the Kingdom
THE NEARNESS OF THE KINGDOM St Luke xxi. 31.--"Know that the Kingdom of God is near." Our Lord saith that the Kingdom of God is near us. Yea, the Kingdom of God is within us as St Paul saith "our salvation is nearer than when we believed." Now we should know in what manner the Kingdom of God is near us. Therefore let us pay diligent attention to the meaning of the words. If I were a king, and did not know it, I should not really be a king. But, if I were fully convinced that I was a king, and all
Johannes Eckhart—Meister Eckhart's Sermons

St. Luke xxi. 36
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. This might be a text for a history of the Christian Church, from its foundation to this hour, or to the latest hour of the world's existence. We might observe how it Lad fulfilled its Lord's command; with what steadiness it had gone forward on its course, with the constant hope of meeting Him once again in glory. We might see how it had escaped
Thomas Arnold—The Christian Life

Sermon for the Second Sunday in Advent
(From the Gospel for the day) How that God is very near to us, and how we must seek and find the Kingdom of God within us, without respect to time and place. [41] Luke xxi. 31.--"Know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand." OUR Lord says here that the kingdom of God is nigh to us. Yea, the kingdom of God is in us; and St. Paul says, that now is our salvation nearer to us than we believe. Now ye ought to know, first, how the kingdom of God is nigh at hand; secondly, when the kingdom of God is
Susannah Winkworth—The History and Life of the Reverend Doctor John Tauler

Evil Habits and Injurious Indulgences.
The Word of the Lord may not denominate in plain terms every particular sin and evil practise man may engage in; however there are general terms and principles of righteousness that prohibit and condemn every possible sinful act man may perform. The words card-parties, picnics, fairs, shows and theaters are not found in the writings of the apostles; however indulgence in these is "revelry," "living in pleasure," "rioting" and worldliness, of which the Scriptures say the participants do not love God
Charles Ebert Orr—The Gospel Day

Remaining Books of the Old Testament.
1. The divine authority of the Pentateuch having been established, it is not necessary to dwell at length on the historical books which follow. The events which they record are a natural and necessary sequel to the establishment of the theocracy, as given in the five books of Moses. The Pentateuch is occupied mainly with the founding of the theocracy; the following historical books describe the settlement of the Israelitish nation under this theocracy in the promised land, and its practical operation
E. P. Barrows—Companion to the Bible

"In your patience possess ye your souls."--Luke 21:19 "Stille, mein Wille! dein Jesu hilft siegen." [40]Unbekanntes. [[41]Catherina Schlegel] transl., Jane Borthwick, 1855 Be still, my soul!--the Lord is on thy side; Bear patiently the cross of grief and pain; Leave to thy God to order and provide-- In every change He faithful will remain. Be still, my soul!--thy best, thy Heavenly Friend Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end. Be still, my soul!--thy God doth undertake To guide the future,
Jane Borthwick—Hymns from the Land of Luther

Epistle Lxiii. To Dominicus, Bishop of Carthage.
To Dominicus, Bishop of Carthage. Gregory to Dominicus, &c. We have already learnt what great pestilence has invaded the African parts; and, inasmuch as neither is Italy free from such affliction, doubled are the groans of our sorrows. But amid these evils and other innumerable calamities our heart, dearest brother, would fail from desperate distress, had not the Lord's voice fortified our weakness beforehand. For long ago to the faithful the trumpet of the Gospel lesson sounded, warning them that
Saint Gregory the Great—the Epistles of Saint Gregory the Great

Of Meditating on the Future Life.
1. The design of God in afflicting his people. 1. To accustom us to despise the present life. Our infatuated love of it. Afflictions employed as the cure. 2. To lead us to aspire to heaven. 2. Excessive love of the present life prevents us from duly aspiring to the other. Hence the disadvantages of prosperity. Blindness of the human judgment. Our philosophizing on the vanity of life only of momentary influence. The necessity of the cross. 3. The present life an evidence of the divine favour to his
John Calvin—The Institutes of the Christian Religion

The Lessons from Olivet
Our last chapter was on the Transfiguration. The next will be on The Last Supper. Between these two events in our Saviour's life, how many interesting incidents took place! How many important sayings that fell from his gracious lips during this period are written for our instruction by the four evangelists! There is, for instance, the beautiful lesson about what it is on which the value of our gifts depend. He taught this lesson when he saw the rich casting their gifts into the treasury. Among them
Richard Newton—The Life of Jesus Christ for the Young

At Night, Jesus Abode on the Mount of Olives
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.--St. Luke xxi: 37. * * * * * NOTE BY THE ARTIST As we ascend towards sunset the slopes of Olivet, and pause to gaze on the scenes beneath, the panorama of the city presented to view is in its leading features essentially similar to that upon which the eyes of Jesus rested, when "at night he went out, and abode in the mount that is called
Richard Newton—The Life of Jesus Christ for the Young

The Present Distress of Nations.
"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 with fear, and for looking after those things which are coming to pass on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken" (Luke 21:25, 26). As we have already remarked more than once, prophecy invariably has a double fulfillment at least, and so we believe it is with the one just quoted. Directly, it has reference
Arthur W. Pink—The Redeemer's Return

That the Ruler Relax not his Care for the Things that are Within in his Occupation among the Things that are Without, nor Neglect to Provide
The ruler should not relax his care for the things that are within in his occupation among the things that are without, nor neglect to provide for the things that are without in his solicitude for the things that are within; lest either, given up to the things that are without, he fall away from his inmost concerns, or, occupied only with the things that are within bestow not on his neighbours outside himself what he owes them. For it is often the case that some, as if forgetting that they have
Leo the Great—Writings of Leo the Great

July 18 Evening
She hath done what she could.--MARK 14:8. This poor widow hath cast in more than they all.--Whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward.--If there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not. Let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.--If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, and one of you
Anonymous—Daily Light on the Daily Path

Two Forms of one Saying
'He that endureth to the end, the same shall be saved.' --Matt. xxiv. 13, R.V. 'In your patience possess ye your souls.'--Luke xxi. 19. These two sayings, different as they sound in our Version, are probably divergent representations of one original. The reasons for so supposing are manifold and obvious on a little consideration. In the first place, the two sayings occur in the Evangelists' reports of the same prophecy and at the same point therein. In the second place, the verbal resemblance is
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

The Great Assize
[i.e., The Last Judgment -- GL] [21] "We shall all stand before the judgement-seat of Christ." Rom. 14:10. 1. How many circumstances concur to raise the awfulness of the present solemnity! -- The general concourse of people of every age, sex, rank, and condition of life, willingly or unwillingly gathered together, not only from the neighboring, but from distant, parts; criminals, speedily to be brought forth and having no way to escape; officers, waiting in their various posts, to execute the orders
John Wesley—Sermons on Several Occasions

Observing the Offerings and Widow's Mites.
(in the Temple. Tuesday, April 4, a.d. 30.) ^B Mark XII. 41-44; ^C Luke XXI. 1-4. ^b 41 And he sat down over against the treasury [It is said that in the court of the women there were cloisters or porticos, and under the shelter of these were placed thirteen chests with trumpet-shaped mouths into which offerings might be dropped. The money cast in was for the benefit of the Temple. An inscription on each chest showed to which one of the thirteen special items of cost or expenditure the contents would
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

The Epistle to the Colossians.
The Churches in Phrygia. The cities of Colossae, Laodicea, and Hierapolis are mentioned together as seats of Christian churches in the closing chapter of Colossians, and the Epistle may be considered as being addressed to all, for the apostle directs that it be read also in the churches of the Laodiceans (Col. 4:13-16). They were situated within a few miles of each other in the valley of the Lycus (a tributary of the Maeander) in Phrygia on the borders of Lydia, and belonged, under the Roman rule,
Philip Schaff—History of the Christian Church, Volume I

The Four Gospels.
General Character and Aim of the Gospels. Christianity is a cheerful religion and brings joy and peace from heaven to earth. The New Testament opens with the gospel, that is with the authentic record of the history of all histories, the glad tidings of salvation through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. [871] The four canonical Gospels are only variations of the same theme, a fourfold representation of one and the same gospel, animated by the same spirit. [872] They are not full
Philip Schaff—History of the Christian Church, Volume I

I. (Unless patience sit by his side, cap. i. p. 707.) Let me quote words which, many years ago, struck me forcibly, and which I trust, have been blest to my soul; for which reason, I must be allowed, here, to thank their author, the learned and fearless Dean Burgon, of Chichester. In his invaluable Commentary on the Gospel, which while it abounds in the fruits of a varied erudition, aims only to be practically useful, this pious scholar remarks: "To Faith must be added Patience, the patient waiting
Tertullian—Of Patience

Look we Then, Beloved, what Hardships in Labors and Sorrows Men Endure...
3. Look we then, beloved, what hardships in labors and sorrows men endure, for things which they viciously love, and by how much they think to be made by them more happy, by so much more unhappily covet. How much for false riches, how much for vain honors, how much for affections of games and shows, is of exceeding peril and trouble most patiently borne! We see men hankering after money, glory, lasciviousness, how, that they may arrive at their desires, and having gotten not lose them, they endure
St. Augustine—On Patience

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