This chapter feels a lot like a mini-version of Revelation told by Jesus Himself. If you don’t want to read Revelation or find it too scary or confusing, just read Luke 21.
Jesus foretells about the destruction of the world and the types of events that will occur as the end of the world draws near. However, Jesus gives us the assurance that we will be fine. As a bonus, He clues us on when this will happen and (in a way) how to best prepare.
Jesus Foretells Destruction, Wars, and Persecution
Think about a scene in a Hollywood blockbuster when everything is blowing up like crazy. Now, also add in the terror experienced by the people if those things were to happen in real life.
At least that’s what I envision how things will look like when the world is drawing to an end.
Jesus’s destruction rant starts with the very temple where He is teaching:
The days will come when there will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.Luke 21:6
Then, Jesus moves on to World War Infinity:
Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and pestilences. And there will be terrors and great signs from heaven.Luke 21:10-11
Plus, we Christians will be persecuted:
But before all this they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors for my name’s sake.Luke 21:12
Seems pretty serious if the government rulers specifically ask for us.
To make matters worse, we will even experience betrayal from those close to us:
You will be delivered up even by parents and brothers and relatives and friends…Luke 21:15-16
But We Will Be Okay
Despite the scariness of Jesus’s prophecy, Jesus assures us that we will be okay.
Even if government rules persecute us and put us on trial with the best of their lawyers, Jesus assures us like so:
For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which none of your adversaries will be able to withstand or contradict.Luke 21:15
Awesome! Jesus will transform us into super-lawyers! Finally, some justice in court where it’s not just the most well-funded party that will win, but the righteous.
And even though the entire world will hate us for Jesus’s name’s sake, Jesus assures us like so:
But not a hair of your head will perish. By your endurance you will gain your lives.Luke 21:18-19
These are powerful assurances. The man literally just described World War Infinity where everything will fall apart and the world will turn against Christians in the most severe possible way.
As long as we continue to endure, we will gain our lives. And of course it’s not easy, but Jesus gives us the assurance that we will be fine.
The Son of Man Will Return
And finally, the moment we’ve been waiting for. Our hope being fulfilled. Jesus’s return.
For the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.Luke 21:26-27
In this life, we will continue to hold onto the hope that Jesus will return and bring us home. Hope is what we believe in but cannot yet see. Hope is what allows us to persevere.
The good news is that Jesus will return one day. And when He does, we will all rejoice.
Jesus Tells Us When The World Will End
In typical Jesus fashion, He does so with a parable.
Look at the fig tree, and all the trees. As soon as they come out in leaf, you see for yourselves and know that the summer is already near. So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that the kingdom of God is near.Luke 21:29-31
Jesus doesn’t give us an exact time. In fact, Jesus Himself doesn’t even know, for it says in Matthew 24:36 that no one knows that day and hour except the Father. Not even the Son nor the Angels.
Regarding when the kingdom of God will be near, He makes the comparison to trees. It’s obvious to us when summer is near based on the trees.
I believe Jesus is saying it will be obvious to us when the kingdom of God is near. Of course, nobody knows, but I’m sure things will happen to make it obvious in one way or another.
Jesus Gives Advice On How To Prepare
Finally, Jesus tells us to watch ourselves, to not become too attached to the cares of this life. We don’t want the day of reckoning to catch us off guard.
Jesus warns us that we must always remain vigilant. We must stay awake at all times. We must constantly be in prayer.
Alas, there’s no way to prepare for the day of reckoning like there is for some speech, presentation, or trial. The only way is to be forward-looking to the hope that Jesus will return one day and to watch ourselves.
Living with a prophecy is hard. We have 66 books of the Bible that gives us an account of history. We got to see how the Israelites lived in the time before their prophecy’s events occurred and how they behaved. Now, we have our time’s prophecy. How will events unfold and how will we behave?
Hold fast to Jesus’s assurances. The prophecy is scary! World War Infinity looms over our heads and our friends and family will betraying us. But Jesus gives us equally powerful assurances to hold onto in order to stay on track. That’s the good news we must cling onto with our very dear lives.
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