2010 Luke’s Gospel
The Son of Man Coming
Key Verse: 21:27 "At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory."
Have you ever seen movies ‘Knowing’, ‘2012’, ‘tomorrow’, ‘Deep Impact’ or ‘Armageddon’? These are the popular Hollywood movies about the end of the world. Many people are eager to know when or how the world will end. But sincere Christians are more eager to see the day when our Lord Jesus comes again. In today’s passage, Jesus declares, “At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.” Despite countless skeptics and scoffers who deny Jesus’ 2nd Coming, it will happen at God’s appointed time, as Jesus guarantees. In the meantime, there will be many signs in the world that foreshadow his coming. Jesus’ coming again is the great hope of all believers. This time, let's accept this hope in our hearts. And let's learn how to live in light of this great hope.
I. Jesus honors a widow's offering (1-4)
As chapter 21 begins, Jesus was still in the temple. Jesus looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. According to history, wealthy diaspora Jews were sending generous gifts to finance the temple's reconstruction, which was begun by King Herod. Herod wanted to ingratiate himself to the Jews, and also build a memorial to his achievements. So he himself contributed to the temple a magnificent golden vine with grape clusters as tall as a man. Jewish leaders overlooked the inherent danger of compromise with Herod and willingly participated. Temple construction took more than 80 years, from 19 B.C. to 63 A.D. The number of workers reached 10,000. This great national building project seemed to have captured the minds and hearts of the people of Israel. Generous donors may have been recognized by putting their names and offering amounts on commemorative plaques and posting them in a prominent place. They may have listed first class givers ($10,000 or more), second class givers ($5,000 or more), etc. To many, these generous gifts were impressive. But Jesus saw more than that.
The people in the temple watched in admiration as the rich deposit their large offerings. But no one paid attention as the poverty-stricken widow, who reached into her rags to withdraw these two thin copper coins and deposit them into the collection box. No one saw the look of joy on her face as she gives to her Lord the little she has. But Jesus saw it. Jesus noticed something that all others might have overlooked. It was a poor widow putting in two very small copper coins. It was just a few cents. Yet Jesus said in verse 3, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put in more than all the others.” How could it be? Jesus explained, “All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on" (4). Here we learn that Jesus is not impressed with outward appearances. Jesus sees the heart. God always sees what’s inside our hearts when we do something for God. Jesus understood how difficult it was for this poor widow to put in her two small copper coins. The small copper coins might have been her next meal. But she gave it to God instead. It could have been money for her medicine. She needed it. But she gave it to God instead. It shows that God was in her heart, and not money or her needs. She expressed her wholehearted love for God. She expressed her faith in God. To Jesus, what she did was very beautiful in the sight of God. Jesus teaches us the most important spiritual lesson. No matter what situation we may be in, we can please Jesus when we give our hearts to him. Jesus is not pleased with mere money. Jesus is pleased by those who give their hearts to him.
II. Make up your mind not to worry and stand firm (5-24)
In verses 5-24, Jesus predicts the signs of the end of the age and destruction of the Jerusalem Temple. Look at verse 5. “Some of his disciples were remarking about how the temple was adorned with beautiful stones and with gifts dedicated to God.” Not long ago, they saw how Jesus, their master, became angry at those who turned the temple of God into a marketplace. (19:45-46) But the disciples who were from Galilee were quite impressed by the artistic design and durability of the beautiful temple buildings. Indeed, the Jerusalem Temple was the pride of Israel and the heart and soul of the spiritual and cultural heritage of the Jews. The disciples might have thought that when Jesus established his throne in Jerusalem, the temple would definitely be his headquarters, which meant that their offices would be in the temple as well.
Look at verse 6. To their surprise, however, Jesus predicted the total destruction of the temple. Let’s read verse 6, “As for what you see here, the time will come when not one stone will be left on another; every one of them will be thrown down.” In Luke 19:41-44, Jesus had already announced that the city of Jerusalem would be completely destroyed. At that time, his disciples didn’t seem to take his words seriously. Now, when Jesus mentioned the destruction of the temple again, they were shocked, really shocked, and asked Jesus, “Teacher, when will these things happen? And what will be the sign that they are about to take place?” (7)
Although Jesus didn’t tell them exactly when these things would happen, he told them several signs that would happen at some point in the future, so that they would not to be misled when these events actually happened. In verses 8-11, Jesus mentions general signs of the end times, such as the rise of false prophets and false messiahs (8), wars, revolutions (9), international conflicts (10), earthquakes, famines, pestilences, fearful events and great signs from heaven (11). There also would be persecutions against his followers. Look at verse 12. “But before all this, they will lay hands on you and persecute you. They will deliver you to synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors, and all on account of my name.” Moreover, there would be the most painful persecutions they might face. Look at verses 16-17. “You will be betrayed even by parents, brothers, relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death. All men will hate you because of me.” Jesus said that some of his followers will be put to death by their own loved ones, and they will be hated by all men because of their faith in Jesus. Here, Jesus is describing some extreme cases. Yet, it is true that we might lose our loved one’s trust for a while because of our faith in Jesus.
Then why does God allow his beloved children to be persecuted? Look at verse 13. “This will result in your being witnesses to them.” Here, we learn that we become very powerful and effective witnesses when we remain faithful to the Lord during times of persecution. Some unbelievers intentionally test our faith by provoking us. When we are persecuted as Christians, the true color of our faith is often revealed. They carefully watch us. They want to see if we really trust in God or not. They want to see how we act differently from them in times of trouble. Of course, we don’t need to fake our faith in front of unbelievers. Yet, when we remain faithful to the Lord during times of persecution or hardship, we can reveal that God is truly alive in us. We actually become powerful and effective witnesses to others, sometimes without even saying a word to them, because they see God through our faith. A good example is Stephen. He was a servant in the early church who was full of the Holy Spirit and proclaimed the gospel. He had to stand before the hate-filled Sanhedrin all alone. Yet, when he spoke, the Spirit gave him words and wisdom, and he delivered a piercing message. As he was dying by furious religious leaders, Stephen looked up to heaven, saw Jesus at the right hand of God, and prayed, "Lord Jesus, receive my Spirit," and, "Lord, do not hold this sin against them" (Ac 7:55-60). In this way, Stephen witnessed to Christ, and later on, one of the persecutors, Saul, who stoned Stephen, changed into the most powerful witness of risen Jesus Christ.
Look at verse 15. “For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict.” Jesus promised that he will give us words and wisdom that none of our opponents will be able to resist or contradict. We can defend our faith not because we are smarter than our opponents but because of the guidance of the Holy Spirit. When we depend on Jesus, he gives us words and wisdom. Jesus enables us to win the victory over any adversary for his glory and salvation purpose. Therefore, we should make up our mind not to worry but to depend on the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Verses 18, 19 say, “But not a hair of your head will perish. By standing firm you will gain life" I pray that during times of persecution, we may remain faithful to the end, knowing that our faith in Jesus will eventually be rewarded the eternal life in Kingdom of God, so that the world may come to see the glory of God through our life of loving Jesus.
III. Jesus comes again in power and great glory(25-38)
In verses 25-28, Jesus mentions the signs that point to the real end times of history. It first tells us what the world will be like before Jesus comes again. Look at verses 25-26. "There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. Men will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken." These signs in the sun, moon and stars were described by Isaiah 13:10, “The stars of heaven and their constellations will not show their light. The rising sun will be darkened and the moon will not give tis light.” These verses tell us that when Jesus comes again, his rule will not be confined to the world but will involve all creation including the heavenly bodies—the sun, moon, and stars.
Let’s read verse 27, "At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory." At that time, which every man faints from terror, Jesus will come again with power and great glory. Jesus will come again not as a servant, but he will come again as God and the whole world will see his almighty power. This brings to mind the fulfillment of prophecy. Daniel 7:13, 14 say, "In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed." Jesus will return to this world as King of kings and Lord of lords. He will establish a New Jerusalem. It is the end of all evil and unrighteousness, and the day of final victory for God's children. Jesus will wipe every tear from our eyes and crown us with everlasting glory. Halleluiah!
Once we have been enlightened by Jesus' teachings, our eyes open to the true spiritual meaning of the events in our world. Dreadful events do not frighten us. Rather, we see how God is working to fulfill his good will. Just as sprouting leaves on a fig tree tell us that summer is near, so the fulfillment of these signs tells us that the kingdom of God is near. "I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away." The fulfillment of Jesus' word is more certain than anything because he is in very nature God, who made the heavens and the earth by his word. Because Jesus promised to come and bring final victory, we can be sure of it.
Then how should we prepare for Jesus’ 2nd coming? Let’s read verse 34. "Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with dissipation, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you unexpectedly like a trap." People who don't believe in Jesus' promise cannot face the distressing terror of this world. So they get drunk and use drugs and go to parties and play video games endlessly in order to cope. While they are escaping reality in such a way, they will be caught like an animal in a trap. Jesus' people must be careful not to fall into that kind of escapism. What then can we do? Look at verse 36. "Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man." We should pray for our escape. We should also pray to be able to stand. When we pray, God will strengthen us to stand firm to the end. Saint Paul also teaches us the same in Romans 13:11-12 when he says to Christians in Rome, “And do this, understanding the present time. The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.”
To sum up, ever since Jesus left the earth, we have been living in the last days. We see that so many signs of the end of the age have been fulfilled and some are about to be fulfilled. Even though Jesus didn’t tell us exactly when he will come, he said that we should always watch and pray. He also said that as we see the events of the end of the age begin to take place, we should stand up and lift up our heads because our redemption is drawing near. We are the people with hope, the glorious hope of the resurrection. We have nothing to lose and only to gain when we hold on to our Lord Jesus Christ. As Jesus promised, we believe that he will come soon and very soon. Until then, let’s encourage one another to be prayerful, thankful and joyful and share the good news of this great hope with others, especially coming 2nd JBF Bible Night may be the chance to plant the good news of this great hope in our friends. May God bless each of JBF members to hold the hope of Jesus' coming in their hearts and to live sacrificial lives as his witnesses until he returns in power and great glory.
|75||Jesus Prays on the Mount of Olives (Luke 22: 39-62) by M. Peter Lim on 10/31/10 ||admin||2010.11.01||20454|
|74||Living As New Covenant People (Luke 22:24-38) by M. Joseph Sohn on 10/24/10 ||admin||2010.11.01||20205|
|73||The New Covenant in Jesus' Blood (Luke 22:1-23) by 2nd M. Joseph Lee on 10/17/10 ||admin||2010.11.01||21501|
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|69||Jesus Rides In As King (Luke 19:28-48) by 2nd Gen M. Joseph Lee on 09/19/10||admin||2010.09.28||9780|
|68||Put This Money To Work (Luke 19:11-27) by M. Joseph Sohn on 09/12/10||admin||2010.09.15||10413|
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|66||Everything Prophesied of the Son of Man will be Fulfilled (Luke 18:31-43) by M. Joseph Sohn on 08/29/10 ||admin||2010.09.08||10234|
|65||Don't Give Up; Pray! (Luke 18:1-14) by M. Peter Kim on 08/08/10||admin||2010.09.08||10250|
|64||The Kingdom of God is Within You (Luke 17:20-37) by M. Joseph Sohn on 08/01/10||admin||2010.09.08||11270|
|63||Jesus Blesses A Thankful Man (Luke 17:11-19) by 2nd Gen M. Joseph Lee on 07/25/10||admin||2010.09.08||11117|
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|61||Jesus Teaches About Our Eternal Destiny (Luke 16:19-31) by 2nd Gen M. Joseph Lee on 07/11/10||admin||2010.07.13||10638|
|60||Love God and Use Money Accordingly (Luke 16:1-18) by M. Joseph Sohn on 07/04/10||admin||2010.07.08||11072|
|59||God Rejoices When One Sinner Repents (Luke 15:1-32) by M. Joseph Sohn on 06/27/10 ||admin||2010.07.01||12786|
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|56||Jesus Preaches Repentance and Heals a Crippled Woman(Luke 13:1-17) by 2nd Gen M. Joseph Lee on 06/06/10||admin||2010.06.07||14851|