If you’ve already read this chapter, you’ll understand why this is the most difficult to write about, up to this point, at least.
They were in the temple again, and after someone spoke about its beautiful stones and gifts, Jesus responded, I believe, in order to initiate a discussion about what certainly would happen in the future. Something they needed to prepare for.
So Jesus told them, “The days will come when not one stone will be left on another that will not be thrown down.”
I try to imagine their faces. “When will this be, and what will be the sign that it’s about to happen?”
I’m thinking that has to be the most natural question to ask at that point. Making a plan to, at least, avoid the city would be uppermost in their minds.
Beginning with, “Nation shall rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom,” followed by, “Earthquakes…pestilence…terrors and great signs from heaven…imprisonments…betrayal by loved ones…” and ending with, “Watch, therefore, that you may be counted worthy to escape all the things that will happen and to stand before the Son of Man,” this doesn’t sound at all like what we have seen in Jesus.
Not like him, except for the encouraging words found throughout:
“You will be hated of all men for my sake, but not a hair of your head shall perish. In your endurance you will gain your souls.” I think the King James Version puts it this way: “In your patience possess ye your souls,” which is saying that patiently waiting for the promised deliverance will quiet your mind and emotions, and keep your will in line with God’s.
“When these things happen, look up, for your redemption is drawing near.”
“This generation [that sees the things I am talking about] will not pass away until all these things are fulfilled. Heaven and earth will pass away…but my words will not pass away.”
Some say that at least part of this prophecy has already come to pass—the destruction of the temple, for example. The greater part obviously has not.
Given all we know of Jesus, of Emmanuel, it sounds like he is prophesying what will be the result, the harvest, of a broken world that refused healing. But in the midst of it, redemption is offered to all and will be received by multitudes. However, whatever you think it to be, I hope you can see the light in this darkness, and remember the heart of that father who waited for his wayward son to return, the shepherd who carried the lost lamb home, and the woman who rejoiced over finding what was lost.
Back to beginning of the chapter, where Jesus commends the widow who threw into the treasury “out of her poverty…all the living she had.” I noticed Jesus didn’t indicate any worry for her future.
She was all in.
“Each day he was teaching in the temple, and each night He went out and stayed on the mountain called the Mount of Olives. And all the people came early in the morning to hear Him in the temple,” (Luke 21:37-38)