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Christmas Reflections: Walk Through Luke - Chapter 21



The Gospel of Luke tells of the origins, birth, ministry, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ.


December 21

Day 21

Luke chapter 21

There are 24 chapters in this book

They bring us through the story of Jesus - the reason for this season.


I also include in the bottom or comments some “extras” like short videos and songs that you may have never heard (or artists you may not know) that resonate with me during this holiday time.


Each post will start with who is who so that you can get a solid understanding of what this chapter is about. I encourage you to read the chapter in your own Bible after you read this. If you don’t have a Bible there are lots of free apps. I use several versions in my studying to ensure I have a full understanding of what I’ve read.


Thank you to the many of you who have engaged in the discussion or who have read these words and wrestled with or embraced what they mean to you personally. These are just my interpretation of each chapter. The thoughts come from researching multiple versions of the Bible. I used The Bible app. It’s free!


Each post starts with outlining who is involved in that chapter, followed by details of what each chapter says - how Jesus engaged - interspersed with my own thoughts. I write these posts to go deeper myself and to keep in my conscious mind how much Jesus loves us. Now - O come let us adore Him back...


This is my commentary.


Who was Luke?

A physician, a researcher, a traveling friend of Paul (mentioned in Colossians 4:14; 2 Timothy 4:11; Philemon 1:24), perhaps someone researching facts to help the legal case for Paul while in prison in Rome, a non-Jew, the only Gentile author of a book in the New Testament. He penned not only Luke, but also Acts.


New characters continue to be introduced - new in this chapter:

* rich people

* A poor widow

* Unnamed crowds of people


HOW MUCH DO YOU GIVE?

Jesus was in the synagogue with his followers. He saw the collection box and many wealthy people were putting in their donations. Along came a poor widow who put in 2 small coins. Jesus said that the rich gave only a little of their wealth. There was also a widow who gave a little - BUT it was everything to her. The point of the story is to give everything to God because He gave everything to you. No matter what you have - it isn’t ours. But whatever you have will increase when you give it away and make room for God.


EYE OF THE BEHOLDER

As the disciples were walking around they were talking about how beautiful and ornate the building was. Jesus said yes it was beautiful now but a day was coming soon when enemies would come and destroy the temple and not one stone would remain on top of another.


As I was doing some research on the cities mentioned throughout the Bible - many indeed were destroyed by earthquakes and men. Even today there is war and destruction in many parts of that old world where towns did somehow exist. Many towns have been excavated but so much was destroyed.

In this verse however Jesus wasn’t talking about bricks.

Keep reading.


They asked Jesus when that would happen when the temple would be destroyed and he said:

  1. “be careful because people would say they’ve come on behalf of Him and say things that aren’t true. Don’t believe them. Discernment on who to believe is so key even today. Just turn on the news. Conflicting stories sound believable “on both sides”

  2. Some people may even say they are the messiah or that the time has come. Don’t believe them. Imagine this. What if someone “powerful” rose up today and ultimately claimed to be Him. Would we believe him? Would we discern the truth? Would we blow it off and miss something important?

  3. Jesus told them there will be wars but don’t be afraid. These things all have to happen but everything else won’t be immediate. Here we are more than 2000 years later. It isn’t a fast process for Him to come back for us.

  4. There will be earthquakes and fighting, people will be hungry and poor, and other suffer with severe illnesses. Many people will die and things will happen in the sky that will frighten people. These things were told by Jesus and continue to be happening today.


But before all those things happen some people will:

  • take hold of you,

  • do bad things, and

  • cause you pain. (Did you know that every disciple except John died horrible deaths after Jesus died, rose, and ascended to heaven?).

  • You’ll be arrested and taken to the leaders wherever you are - all because you chose to follow me.

  • Use that time as your opportunity to tell them about me.


Think about that.

It’s easy to tell Jesus followers about Jesus. It’s easy to talk about Jesus at church. In face if you're reading this, unless you're just a friend who supports me - you likely already are a believer.

Jesus was saying if you are arrested BECAUSE of me - tell the people who arrested you ABOUT me.

Prepare your minds and know that the words will be given to you at the right time on exactly what to say.

  • I will help you be wise.

  • The people who are against you won’t be able to argue with you.

  • Even some of your own family will have you arrested or even killed.

  • Although some people will hate you - your eternity is safe with me.

  • Be strong so that you will live forever with Me.


One day Jerusalem will have armies all around it and the day will come when it will be destroyed.

  • People will run to the hills of Judea to hide and many will leave the city.

  • God will punish the people of Israel just as his servants said in the Old Testament.

  • Many people will be killed in wars and even taken away into other countries.


You will see strange things happening to the sun, moon, and stars.

  • Things here on earth will make people afraid - like hurricanes and tsunamis.

  • There will be great storms.

  • Things in the sky will move from their usual places and people will be afraid.

  • Then - people will see the Son of Man coming down from the clouds very powerful and beautiful.

  • This is when the time will come when God will save.”


I invite you to go back and read those bullets again and see if they resonate in your heart. There are things in our own lifetime that should stir us to see things happening in, through, and around us. Important though to heed what He says next.

FALLING LEAVES

They may not have understood him - so Jesus told a story. He talked about how when trees start to grow new leaves - you know summer is coming. In this same way when the strange things start to happen - you’ll know the time is coming. Jesus told them that although one day the Earth may die - His words will never die.


Jesus went on to give them advice how to live:

  1. Don’t eat or drink too much

  2. Don’t waste your time being troubled about things in life

  3. Don’t try to figure out when the day will come - it will surprise everyone.

  4. Watch all the time and continue to pray to be strong

  5. Do not be afraid”


The time was coming then.

I believe the time of his return is coming soon as well.

What is soon?

The Bible says do not try to predict the day. Just be ready. And don’t be afraid.


During this time Jesus would teach every day. Each night he would go to the mount of olives to rest. Many many people would arrive early to hear him teach each day.


Tomorrow more to come with my favorite number. We are almost done. Tomorrow is Ch 22


PRAYER

Lord thank you for your word. I can never give you what you gave me - but thanks for accepting all of me. Help me to release the clutch and to give more. I often wonder when you’re coming back for me. Until then please cover and protect the people I love the most. Thank you for continuing to reveal signs and the meaning of your words. Thank you for reminding me that there’s no reason to be anxious or afraid. Also - the end of this chapter made it very plain that you also would go away from work to be quiet and rest. Help me to find balance in 2022 and focus more on you. I didn’t do that in 2021 and even said this same thing the year prior. I’m tired Lord and you forced me to rest a few days ago. Lord - I’m praying that you heal what needs to be healed so that we all can get rest and peace and more of you. Please heal the restlessness in the hearts of many who are afraid, who are sick, who have lost loved ones. I pray you keep me and my family safe and healthy and help us to not be afraid. I ask you to help me to enjoy this final two weeks of the year by resting and thinking of you most. Amen.


MUSIC - the universal language

The song that resonates with me today is this one by Chris Tomlin. https://youtu.be/mt_xfOutfSQ


EXTRAS:

This is a clip of the reading of this chapter https://youtu.be/X-BND3Tupjw


Lastly - here is the season 4 trailer of The Chosen. I shared it yesterday but its worth your time. The show is free on the app. But this season will also premiere Feb 1 in theaters. You'll see in this clip a LOT about what todays commentary was about. https://youtu.be/wisX-CEjoxc?si=6GD4thjjXUqEAXKI

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