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Luke 21

The Gospel of Luke
/ Part
October 18, 2023
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Gospel of Luke

Chapter 21

Scripture of the Week: But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:33-34

What comes to mind when you hear the following words or phrases: The end of the world, rapture, Jesus returning, the end times, the tribulation, Left behind, Armageddon. These are more than just book titles, Nicholas Cage or Ben Afleck movies, or “church terms.” So much of the world has tried to answer the question, ‘What happens at the end of it all?’ or ‘What will the end of the world look like?’ What is the emotion you feel when you read those questions? Fear? Terror? Anxiety? Uncertainty? This week we’re going to take a deeper look at Luke Chapter 21, where Jesus addresses “The End.”


At this time in Jesus’ life, we are in his final week on earth. He knows this and therefore spends most of his time going to the temple to teach. It was on one of these walks to and from the temple that Jesus’ disciples were commenting on the beauty of the temple. They must have been stunned by Jesus' response that this beautiful building with all its courts would be utterly destroyed. He was not wrong. When Jesus said this phrase to his disciples, it would have been 33 AD. In 70 AD, the Romans set fire to the temple and Roman Emperor Titus ordered the leveling of the whole area so that no part of the original walls or buildings remained.

The disciples were obviously worried. As we have discussed prior, the Jewish people believed their “Messiah” was going to be more of a political figure who was sent to overthrow the Roman occupation and establish an earthly kingdom. This temple would have been a central part of that kingdom to them. The disciples ask for signs they can watch for so they can be ready. Jesus responds to these questions with the theme for our time together this week, HOPE!

Jesus gives great encouragement to his disciples in response to their questions. This is an encouragement that is so critical for us today. To be Vigilant. To be watchful. To be ready. He warns them to watch out for false teachers. He knew that if they looked for signs and wonders that they could be susceptible to deception. He wanted them to completely trust in Him and Him alone. He talks of wars, natural disasters, and any number of global events. He also says that His followers will be persecuted, arrested, and even potentially killed. But even in this seemingly dark message, Jesus gives the focus of hope to his disciples. He says when persecution comes their way that they are not to defend themselves. He wants them to focus on proclaiming the gospel and nothing else. Notice in this what Jesus does not promise is an acquittal. Jesus continues with more talks of the coming age, and a short parable of how they will be able to tell when this time is upon them. He then wraps up this section with another encouragement to be watchful and to avoid distractions.


We need to remember that while the Bible was written for us, it was not written to us. This is important when interpreting all that Jesus says in Luke 21. This chapter is often referenced when someone is speaking of “the coming end and Jesus’ impending return.” If we view this through the lens of who Jesus was talking to, it adds clarification to what He wanted to accomplish. He was speaking to twelve men, ten of which would be brutally murdered for their faith in Him. Those ten men would be commissioned to establish the early church, which would eventually be scattered throughout the region and persecuted by both Jew and Roman alike. Jesus needed these ten men, pillars of the early church, to spread the Gospel and build a strong community that could withstand the coming persecution.


There is a lot of focus on Jesus’ return. So many talks, sermons, podcasts, videos, books, etc. What do we do with all this information? I can tell you that without the right focus, the end times and Jesus’ return can terrify a person. It did me for years of my upbringing. I can tell you with certainty that terror and fear are not the emotions that Jesus wants us to emulate. He wants us to spread a message of Love, Hope, and everlasting life through the sacrifice of Jesus. He wants all to know that in the midst of hard times, when feelings of complete abandonment or loss arise, that His Holy Spirit will always be present. Protection and provision are available to any who call on the name of Jesus.

Jesus encourages us to be watchful and ready. But does this mean we should spend all our time looking to the clouds for His return? We are to be ready for His return, but what of our fellow man? We all know people who if everything ended tonight, they would spend eternity apart from God. What does that do to your heart? To your Soul? The impending end for everyone should invigorate us to pray for those in our communities. To build relationships with our co-workers. To love those in our family who need love the most. As Micah has encouraged us many times this year, to “NEIGHBOR” well.

Whether through old age, persecution, accidents, attacks, choices, or the return of Jesus, all of our lives will eventually come to an end. In the meantime, how can we be more like Jesus for the good of those around us? Let this be the question that fills your table discussion time.

Practical Application Questions

  1. When you read about Jesus talking with His disciples about the future, how does it make you feel? Hopeful or fearful? Discuss what you feel and why with your group.
  2. Where in your life do you need more Hope? What distractions get in the way of your hopefulness?
  3. Who in your circle needs Jesus. What is the Spirit leading you to do this week for them?
  4. What else stood out to you in Chapter 21? Share with your group.

Luke 21