In our Daily devotions this week we are going to be looking at the Olivet Discourse in Luke 21.
In Luke 21 the focus of Jesus’ teaching is on the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem that happened in AD70 and the events of the end signaling his return to earth. In reading Luke’s account we need to read it alongside the Olivet Discourse or Olivet Prophecy in Matthew 24 v 1 – 35 and Mark 13 v 1 – 37. When you look at all three reports by Matthew, Mark and Luke you get an overview of Jesus’ teaching with a different emphasis depending on the writer. Luke tends to focus more on the short term destruction of the Temple that occurred around the time the Gospel was written where Matthew and Mark focus more on the End Times and Jesus’ return to this earth. Nevertheless all three writers talk about both events – one event has happened, the destruction of the Temple, and one event is yet to happen, the Second Coming of Christ. I believe we are living in those end times.
Luke 21 v 5 – 8
Some of his disciples were remarking about how the temple was adorned with beautiful stones and with gifts dedicated to God. But Jesus said, “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.” “Teacher,” they asked, “when will these things happen? And what will be the sign that they are about to take place?”
The structures of earthly empires often are very impressive. They give the sense that they and what they represent will last forever. Visiting the great ruins of civilizations from Babylon to the Aztecs, one imagines the people must have assumed that their glory would endure forever. Humanity tends to suffer from delusions of immortality.
The rebuilt temple of Herod created such an impression.
When the disciples praised its grandeur to Jesus, the temple was in the midst of an eighty-three-year building program. Started about 20 B.C. it continued until A.D. 63-64, just a few years before Jerusalem’s fall in A.D. 70. Assuming an A.D. 33 date for the crucifixion, the program was over fifty years old at the time the disciples marvelled at it.
We often put our security in the things around us and live for the here and now. We spend so much time building our kingdoms and often think they will last forever.
Jesus challenges this type of thinking.
Matthew 6 v 33
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
We live in times that are changing and many of things that are written in the Olivet Discourse we see in our world today. Today, is a time to be trusting God and building His kingdom in our lives. If we do this, He promises to take care of everything else.