Luke 21- Are These the Last Days?

Jesus predicts that destruction is coming. Prophecy can be difficult to understand because sometimes Jesus or the prophet is talking about the immediate future and sometimes about the very end of times and sometimes both all in the same paragraph.

“But this passage, though vital in its specific reference to that first generation, has a good deal to say to the subsequent church as well….” – N.T. Wright in Luke for Everyone

#NewTestament #Jesus #faith #deconstructing #reconstructingfaith #spirituality #postchristian #postchristianworld

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Message Notes:

Jesus continues to teach at the temple courts after spending the nights on the hillside. Lots of people are coming to hear him. 

Remember he has just been proclaimed king by the crowd that welcomed him into the city of Jerusalem on what we now call Palm Sunday and he then went and cleared out the money changers in the temple courts. The religious leaders are eager to arrest him for blasphemy as he’s calling Himself the Son of Man and One with the Father and he’s called them out for their arrogance and hypocrisy.

In the midst of that tension, Jesus responds to one of the disciples who talks with him about the Temple. Jesus predicts that destruction is coming. 

Prophecy can be difficult to understand because sometimes Jesus or the prophet is talking about the immediate future and sometimes about the very end of times and sometimes both all in the same paragraph.

In this case there definitely appears to be more emphasis on Jesus’ day as he mentions that the destruction of the temple and the persecution of his followers would happen within their lifetimes. He was accurate as the disciples later faced a great deal of persecution as we discover in the book of Acts and in the year A. D. 70, the Romans destroyed the Temple which has not been rebuilt since then. 

“But this passage, though vital in its specific reference to that first generation, has a good deal to say to the subsequent church as well. Wherever Christians are persecuted for their faith – and, sadly but not surprisingly, this is still common in many parts of the world – they need not only the prayers and support of their fellow-believers in more fortunate places, but also the comfort and encouragement of these words: ‘Don’t let anyone deceive you’; ‘a chance to tell your story’; ‘I’ll give you wisdom’; ‘you’ll keep your lives through patience’. These are still precious promises, to be learnt ahead of time and clung to in the moment of need.”

– NT Wright in Luke for Everyone

So what about the phrase the Son of Man will be seen in the clouds? This can very easily be a reference to Jesus‘s ascension to the throne in the heavenly realms, as prophesied in Daniel, as seen by Stephen in the book of acts at his stoning, and as referenced by Paul, in several of his letters. In other words, the destruction of the temple, with vindicate the message of Jesus. His message and way to God was the way rather than the temple had been since the time of king Solomon until its destruction with periods of Lawson destruction in between.

Are these little last days? Well, they’re definitely closer than we were yesterday. 🙂 There will be lots of endings and beginnings as kingdoms come and go, and we can be sure there will be a rapid increase of these convulsions, earthquakes, and wars between now and the time Jesus comes back to make all things right and his kingdom comes fully.

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